By Mike Pilosof
El Dorado, KS-Garden City will not face anything like they saw Wednesday for the rest of the season.
Top-ranked Butler is on a different playing field than most, and boy did they prove that in a two-game sweep of Garden City.
The Grizzlies kept the nation's longest winning streak alive, drilling eight home runs in two games as Butler beat Garden City 26-2 and 12-0 at East Field. It was the Grizzlies 68th consecutive victory.
Butler (30-0, 8-0) put game one away early. The Grizzlies scored 13 runs in the first inning, fueled by Alexis Reed's three-run blast and Becca Schulte's towering solo homer to left field. Schulte also had a two-run double down the line earlier in the frame. Kenzie Young ripped a two-run triple before scoring on a wild pitch, and Reed came up for the second time in the inning and slapped an RBI single for a 13-0 lead.
The Grizzlies added three more long balls in the second when Young, Brynn Minor and catcher Caylie Kifer all went yard, making it 18-0. They pushed that advantage to 26-0 with an eight-run third inning.
Garden City (11-21, 0-6) mustered their only offense of the day when Micaela Martinez connected on a two-run home run in the fourth before Grizzlies reliever Maddie Siemer finished off the run rule, working around a one-out walk to retire the final two Broncbuster hitters in the fifth.
Regan Margele improved to 12-0, striking out six and not allowing a single hit. Siemer pitched two innings of relief, yielding two runs on two hits.
Samantha Akers dropped to 4-8 for Garden City. She gave up 10 earned runs on eight hits and did not record an out.
Not much changed in game two.
Garden City was held to just three hits while Butler surged in front 1-0 on Allison Jurgensen's Run-scoring single in the second. Young and Minor added RBI base hits in the third before Reed doubled in Jurgenson in the fourth and Kifer, Young and Schulte all followed with home runs. Beanie Luttig laced a two-run double, and Darrianne Hale got the Broncbusters to go in order in the fifth for their ninth straight run-rule victory.
Minor earned the win in the circle, allowing just three hits in four innings for Butler. Desiree Perea dropped to 4-7 for the Broncbusters, allowing 12 runs on 13 hits in four innings. She gave up three home runs.
Next up: Garden City vs. Otero, Thursday, March 23-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.