Big first inning costs Garden City at Western Nebraska

Big first inning costs Garden City at Western Nebraska

By Mike Pilosof

Scottsbluff, NE-Garden City's road woes continued on Sunday.

Western Nebraska used two strong first innings on Sunday to beat Garden City 14-6 and 8-3 at Cougar Field.

The Broncbusters set the tone in the top of the first by scoring three runs off of two Western Nebraska (12-5) errors. But the Cougars got right back in it, getting a solo home run by Julia Suchan before two runs scored on an error committed by shortstop Erica Vessels in the bottom half to tie the game 3-3.

The game stayed that way until the fourth when Vessels second error allowed Lauren Oxford to trot home from second, giving the Cougars a 4-3 advantage.

Garden City (11-17, 0-4) did not bow out, taking the lead in the fourth on Jasmine Wessel's miscue at short that allowed Bailee Muxlow-Volk to come around. Vessels followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 6-4 Broncbusters.

But the wheels fell off in the bottom of the fifth. Western Nebraska scored 10 runs, spearheaded by Suchan's RBI triple and Wesssel's two-run homer that induced the run rule. In the inning, the Cougars sent 12 players to the plate, took advantage of two Broncbuster errors and produced four extra base hits.

Ashley Thomas notched the win for Western Nebraska, allowing six runs on four hits in five innings. She improved to 4-2 in the circle.

Desiree Perea took the loss for Garden City, allowing 14 runs, four of them earned on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. She gave up two home runs.

In the second game, Garden City once again jumped in front on Micaela Martinez's RBI single to left. But that lead was short lived. The Cougars bounced back with Lauren Oxford's two-run double; then Oxford scored on Hannah Adams error at second to make it 3-1. Martinez's error allowed Selby to come across before Sarah Linford doubled home Ana Apodaca to push the Cougars in front 5-1.

Garden City got some of that back in the second on Leisha Nakagawa's two-run double. But Savanna Gyurman and Taylore Hartman both struck out to end the threat.

Western Nebraska blitzed the Broncbusters in the bottom of the second. Celyn Whitt scored on a passed ball and Suchan came around on Madilyn Jackson's single. The Cougars closed the scoring in the fourth when Kelsey Ray's error pushed Selby home to make it 8-3.

Akers took the loss, allowing seven runs on five hits for Garden City, who lost their sixth straight. She fell to 4-7 while Sarah Linford notched the win for Western Nebraska, scattering eight hits and allowing three runs.

Next up: Garden City at Butler, Wednesday, Mar. 15-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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