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Strong pitching boosts Lady Panthers over Dodge City
High School Softball
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DODGE CITY — Another doubleheader, another pair of wins for the Great Bend High School softball team.
The Lady Panthers traveled to Dodge City, walking away with two Western Athletic Conference wins, 2-0 and 7-0.
“Overall, we struggled a little bit at the plate,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We just had a slow start, especially in the first game. We had that week-long break and it was a very windy day. We had a lot of hard hits that hung up in the wind to make them playable balls.”
While it was not the offensive powerhouse performance that rang up 41 runs in eight total innings against Liberal, but Great Bend also has a pair of aces to lean on.
“Both of our pitchers had dominant performances,” Minton said. “Dodge City came out more aggressive in the first game, but both of our pitchers did a great job hitting their spots today.”
Braylin Bretz went the full seven inning in the first game. She had seven strikeouts and allowed five hits.
Bretz still secured the shutout with Dodge City leaving four runners on base.
Leaving runners on base was something both teams struggled with.
“We left eight runners on base in the first game, and five on in the second game,” Minton said. “We had some timely hits, but that wind kind of hurt us at times.”
Still, Great Bend got the hits when it needed them, getting an RBI single from Kelsie Doll and Kacee Kasselman each.
Kasselman was the offensive star in the second game as well, coming in as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and smashing a three-run home run.
“Kasselman hit it big for us,” Minton said. “There was two on. Tarynn Stueder got on with a bunt, and Hunter (Middleton) got on with a bunt, too. Kacee hit a line drive shot at right-center field.”
The home run put the exclamation point on a dominant performance from the mound by Middleton.
She struck out nine batters while allowing only one hit and one walk in seven inning pitched.
Middleton also hit an RBI single, as did Elizabeth Barber.
Great Bend travels to Wichita North on Thursday.

                                             — Kevin Price