By Mike Pilosof
Colby, KS-With the exception of the Butler series, Garden City has been right there, in every game this season.
On Thursday in Colby, the Broncbusters again found themselves with a chance to steal a win on the road. But a heartbreaking finish in game one followed by some late-inning miscues in game two had Garden City on the losing end 4-3 and 7-2.
Game one stayed scoreless until the bottom of the second when Dani Asche singled home Madison Motes for a 1-0 Colby lead. They stretched that to two runs in the third when Kaitlynn Withers scored on Katelin Eastman's RBI groundout.
While the Trojans took command offensively, their pitching shut down Garden City (13-29, 2-14). Kylee Burnside allowed just one hit through the first four innings. Meantime Colby (24-14, 9-7) extended their lead in the fourth when Nicole Milford's error at third allowed Burnside to trot home.
The Broncbusters had no plans on going quietly, tying the game in the top of the seventh on a two-run double by Taylore Hartman and an RBI single by Hannah Adams. But Colby seized control in their last at bat when Jennifer Slaughter drew a leadoff walk and Withers singled. After a fielder's choice and a walk that loaded the bases, Burnside won the game with a single right back up the middle.
Burnside improved to 10-6 in the circle, striking out six and allowing three runs on five hits in seven innings. Samantha Akers dropped to 4-13 for Garden City, yielding two earned runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Garden City showed the same fight in game two.
After Colby jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, the Broncbusters came back to tie it two innings later. Milford's RBI double sliced the advantage in half before Courtney Hathaway issued a bases-loaded walk to Adams to knot the score 2-2.
The Trojans regained the lead in bottom half of the third when Burnside tripled home Madison Shawyer. Motes followed with an RBI fielder's choice, and Colby had a 4-2 cushion.
It would stay that way until the sixth when Milford's second error allowed a run to score. Alexis Anderson added a two-run single to give the Trojans a five-run lead.
Desiree Perea took the loss for the Broncbusters going 2 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on five hits. Kayla Gau, in relief, improved to 1-2 for the Trojans, holding Garden City scoreless in 4 2/3 innings.
Next up: Garden City vs. Barton County-Saturday, April 15-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.