The Garden City Buffaloes’ (3-3,0-0) softball team was able to pick up a couple of big non-league wins, defeating the Valley Center Hornets 12-6, 15-3 in Valley Center Friday evening.
Two big six-run innings in both games, carried the Buffaloes past the Hornets for the sweep, which brings them back to .500 after suffering a pair losses earlier in the week to Maize South and Derby.
“We were finally able to get some good line drive hits,“ said head coach Trina Moquett of her team’s performance on Friday. "Offensively, we started the season rather slow, and it’s good so see our bats starting to make contact. All of our girls, one through nine, were making good, solid contact with the ball.”
That solid contact started early in the first game, as the Buffaloes started the scoring right away. Lead-off hitter, junior Yazmin Vargas smacked a ground ball past the shortstop into left field to double in the opening at-bat. Vargas later stole home, and opened up the scoring for the Buffs.
The Buffs added a second run in the first when Reagan Nordby doubled and brought Morgan Cabral home. The second inning turned out better for Garden City as they added three more runs, and took a 5-0 lead into the third inning.
A three run home run and a then a two run blast in the bottom of the third inning saw the Hornets tie things, 5-5, by the end of the inning. Garden City quickly answered back, with one run the the top of the fourth.
Garden City put the game away in the top of the fifth inning, after a six-run inning, which was started by a bases load walk to Hailey Dart which brought in Nordby for the first run of the inning and gave Garden City a 7-5 lead. A single by Vargas then bought in two more runs to make the score 9-5.
Three more runs in the fifth inning saw Garden City close out the first game on a 7-1 run and win convincingly, 12-6.
Dart, who picked up wins in both games, seemed to have taken control of the game when she came in to relieve Vargas early in the first game.
“Yazmin started the first game for us, but she had some trouble with her control so we had Hailey come in for us to help us out,” said Moquett. “Hailey pitched really well. She kept the batters off balance with her change up.”
In the nightcap, it was more of the same as Garden City opened up scoring after a Nordby single brought in Erykah Foster to give the Buffs an early 1-0 lead. Three runs in the second and third innings, as well as two more in the fourth inning, gave Garden City a comfortable 8-3 lead heading into the sixth inning.
If there was any question of a comeback, Garden City quickly squashed that notion in the sixth inning. Just like in the first game, a six-run inning, this time in the top of the sixth inning, put the game out of reach, and Garden City finishing with a 15-3, run-rule decision.
Big wins like this can be season changers for a team, and coach Moquett knows it.
“It’s huge for our confidence. Our team is finally figuring out their niche and you can see the confidence when they took the field today," Moquett said. "Hope we can keep that going and carry that on for the rest of the season.”
The Buffaloes will next play on Tuesday, when they open up WAC play against Liberal in Garden City. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Ford Field at Tangeman Sports Complex.