By Mike Pilosof
Hutchinson, KS-In her pursuit of redemption, Garden City coach Becky Gundy went out and recruited arguably her most talented team in five seasons with the Broncbusters. And despite a couple of early-season setbacks, the brown and gold continue to learn on the job.
Garden City was run-ruled by Hutchinson in game one at Fun Valley on Friday afternoon before the Broncbusters dropped a one-run heartbreaker 4-3 in the finale.
In game two, Michaela Martinez started where she left off in Colorado by drilling a solo shot to left field to give Garden City (1-3) a 1-0 lead.
Hutchinson (2-0) answered the bell in the bottom of the third when Tori Caruthers singled home Hannah Danielson and Izzy Godinez for a 2-1 Blue Dragon advantage.
It appeared Garden City starter Samantha Akers would cruise to her first victory of the season. Despite a couple of errors, Akers allowed only three hits over the next three innings. But the Blue Dragons finally pushed through in the seventh.
Godinez led off the bottom half with a bunt single before coming around to tie the game on Akers throwing error. Raven Bass followed with a rope double. She gave way to pinch runner Shelbey Thomas, who scored the game-winning run on Lexi Eisenbart's walk-off single.
Akers, who dropped to 0-2, was pretty solid in 6.2 innings of work, giving up three earned runs on nine hits. She struck out three and walked two. Hutchinson's D.J. Cannon picked up her second victory in relief.
In game one, the Broncbusters fell behind in the second on Hannah Adams error that allowed Brooke Lee to score from third. But Garden City countered right back in the third. Rebekah Roberts smashed a game-tying double that plated Muxlow-Volk and then took the lead on Taylore Hartman's RBI single.
It was all Blue Dragons from there.
Hutchinson scored four in the bottom half of the third, sparked by Kameron Pope's two-run homer.
After Muxlow-Volk got a run back for Garden City in the fourth on an RBI double, the Blue Dragons put the game away in the fifth.
Godinez singled home Lee to make it 7-3. Then Bass drove home Hannah Danielson, setting the stage for Tori Caruthers, who belted a game-ending three-run homer.
Gundy used two pitchers in the opener: Desiree Perea who threw 57 pitches over two innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits while walking four, and Marissa Montiel, who yielded six runs on six hits. Both were tagged for homers.