Vessels walk off puts an end to the skid

Vessels walk off puts an end to the skid

By Mike Pilosof

Garden City, KS-The Broncbusters were looking for some kind of spark. And Erica Vessels finally provided it.

The freshman's walk-double double in game two ended Garden City's nine-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Trinidad State. The Trojans took the first game 12-10.

Trinidad State (11-10) got off to a fast start in the opener as Isabella Navarro drilled a two-run shot in the top of the first to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead.

Garden City (11-13, 0-2) responded with five runs in the bottom half thanks to a three-run homer by Vessels and a two-run job by Taylore Hartman.

The Trojans eventually fought back to tie the game in the third when Tori Martinez singled home two and Abby Madrid scored on Micaela Martinez's error in left.

Not deterred, Leisha Nakagawa put the Broncbusters back in front the next time up, smashing a three-run bomb over the left-field wall for an 8-5 advantage. Martinez's RBI double and Savanna Gyurman's run-scoring single in the fourth pushed the lead to 10-5.

But the Trojans would not go away. Rachel Duran doubled home two and then scored when Katie Glaze knocked her in, cutting the Broncbusters lead to 10-9 in the fifth.  Then in the sixth, the Trojans grabbed the lead for good when Shayla Felix scored on Shaylene Shepherd's error in center. Medina trotted home moments later on an error in right by Gyurman. Muniz closed out the scoring for the Trojans with a solo shot in the seventh.

Garden City brought the tying run to the plate after Martinez laced a one-out triple in the bottom of the seventh. But Hartman popped out and Kasie Smith grounded out to end the game.

The loss dropped pitcher Desiree Perea to 4-4 on the season. She allowed seven earned runs on 13 hits. She struck out five and gave up two long balls. Isabella Navarro picked up her first win of the year in relief for the Trojans, allowing just four hits in four innings.

In game two, Trinidad State struck first again when Hannah Adams' error allowed Glaze to come around. But the Broncbusters tied the game in the bottom half on Vessels RBI single.

The Trojans went back on top on in the third thanks to Navarro's RBI hit that scored Duran and Vanessa Rodarte's base hit that plated Navarro for a 3-1 edge.  

Garden City mounted their comeback in the fourth when Vessels parked a shot over the left-field wall, cutting the Trinidad State lead to one. It was the freshman's sixth long ball of the season.

Everything was set for Vessels' dramatics in the seventh.

With one on and two outs, Nicole Milford singled, advancing Shaycin Koehn to second. Vessels stepped in and took the first two pitches for balls. After working the count full, Vessels plastered a double to the gap, scoring Koehn and Milford for a 4-3 win.

Vessels finished the day with two homers and seven RBI. Samantha Akers picked up the win in the circle, throwing 113 pitches over seven innings. She allowed three runs while scattering six hits and struck out eight.

Breelyn Craig took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits. She struck out six. 

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