By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-For the second straight week, Garden City had to wait out the weather to play their final regular-season series. And for the second straight week, it was well worth the extra day.
Micaela Martinez homered twice, including the game winner in the finale as Garden City took two from Pratt 8-0 and 7-5 at Tangeman Sports Complex on Monday. It was the Broncbusters first conference sweep of the season and first since April 28, 2015 when they beat Colby.
Martinez, who has had a knack for late-game heroics, did it again in game two.
With the game tied at 5 in the eighth, Martinez laced a two-run, walk-off shot off Pratt reliever Taja Casanova. It was the freshman's lone hit of game two.
Early on in the finale, it was the Beavers jumping out to the lead on Marisa Jonas's RBI groundout and Lyndsey Loomis's run-scoring double. But Garden City (16-34, 5-19) came back to tie in the bottom of the first when Roberts scored on pitcher Bailey Howarah's error before Leisha Nakagawa's sacrifice fly scored Nicole Milford to even the count.
The Broncbusters then surged in front in the second when Roberts slapped an RBI triple down the right-field line.
That advantage did not stick, and Pratt (4-48, 2-16) scored two in the third on base hits by Loomis and Hannah Bugner that pushed the Beavers in front 4-3. They added another run in the fifth when Jonas came around on Hannah Adams' miscue at second.
Garden City finally answered in the bottom half. Bailee Muxlow-Volk started it with a leadoff single followed by Hartman's towering, two-run shot to left that tied the game.
From there, only once did either team put the go-ahead runner on until the Broncbusters broke through in the eighth.
Desiree Perea picked up the win in the circle for the Broncbusters, allowing just one run on two hits in five innings. Casanova took the loss for the Beavers, who dropped their 13th straight. She allowed two runs on two hits in two innings.
There was no drama in game one.
Nakagawa's double off Kelly Emerine in the first gave Garden City a 1-0 edge. Martinez then added her second homer of the day in the second to make it 2-0 before Nakgawa's RBI single in the third gave the Broncbusters a three-run cushion.
Samantha Akers notched the win for Garden City, scattering just three hits in five innings. She struck out four. Emerine was the losing pitcher, allowing eight runs on eight hits in 4 2/3.