By Mike Pilosof
Great Bend, KS-It has been a long two weeks for Garden City softball.
After a promising start, the Broncbusters have dropped eight straight games including two more to Barton County on Saturday 15-0 and 12-4 at Cougar Field.
For Garden City (10-12, 0-2), game one was defined by a plethora of mistakes and lack of offense.
Five of the Broncbusters errors in the opener came in the bottom of the first as Barton County (15-4, 2-0) jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Madison Schofield and Kat Frakes slapped singles to start the frame before Micaela Martinez's error in right allowed Andreanna Reynolds to reach and load the bases. After that, three straight Cougars got on thanks to miscues, and Barton County had a 3-0 lead. An RBI fielder's choice and Schofield's run-scoring single pushed the lead to 6-0.
Schofield's RBI triple in the third made it 7-0. Then, with two on in the fourth, Reynolds smoked a home run over the center-field wall for a 15-0 advantage.
Payton Reynolds improved to 7-0, tossing her second no hitter of the season, striking out six while tossing only 73 pitches. Desiree Perea dropped to 4-3 in the circle, allowing 15 runs; although only two of them were earned.
In the second game, Garden City got off to a much better start once Martinez doubled home Leisha Nakagawa for a 1-0 lead in the first. But the Cougars tied the game in the bottom half on Jayden Gonzales's RBI; then took the lead for good when Schofield and Gonzales each hit two-run shots before Payton Summers' solo shot made it 7-1 Cougars.
The Broncbusters made some headway in the fifth. Martinez had an RBI base hit and Rebekah Roberts scored on Reynolds error in right to cut the deficit to 7-3. But the Cougars answered their next time up when Reynolds homered to make it 8-3. Braxton Morby singled home Kaci Isaacson and Schofield knocked in Lydia Konrade for a 10-3 cushion. The Cougars induced the run rule with two more runs in the sixth.
In all, Garden City committed 13 errors in two games and gave up five home runs. Marissa Montiel was hit with her second loss of the season, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings. She gave up three long balls.
Amanda Evans improved to 2-1, fanning four and allowing just one earned run in 4 1/3 innings.
Next up: Garden City vs. Trinidad State-Sunday, Mar. 5 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.