Colby, KS-The Broncbuster softball team dropped their first two, road conference games of the season, falling to Colby 4-0 and 7-5 on Wednesday afternoon.
In the opener, Jaycie George proved to be the difference. The sophomore knocked in two runs; both on RBI groundouts: one in the first and the other in the third that helped the Trojans build a 3-0 lead.
In the fifth, Kaitlyn Withers singled and scored on Samantha Akers wild pitch, stretching Colby's advantage to 4-0.
Meantime Garden City had ample opportunities to score. In the second, Micaela Martinez and Angel Jimenez both walked, and Erica Vessels doubled to load the bases. But Hannah Adams struck out, and Martinez was picked off at third to end the threat. In the fifth, Garden City had the tying run at the plate after Taylore Hartman walked and Vessels was hit by a pitch. But with two outs, Colby pitcher Cassi Clouse got Jimenez to fly out harmlessly to center. Then in the fifth, the Broncbusters again loaded the bases with one out. This time, Ariel Denney flew out to left and Jessy Ortiz was caught stealing home.
Clouse improved to 8-2 on the season, allowing just four hits in seven innings. She struck out five and walked three.
Akers pitched well in the loss, scattering six hits in six innings. She dropped to 3-1.
In game two, Garden City (9-5, 1-3) fought back from a 2-0 deficit when Denney and Hartman hit back-to-back homers in the top of the sixth. Vessels added another run after Jiminez was hit by a pitch. That was followed by Carly Ochoa's two-out, RBI single that gave the Broncbusters a 4-2 edge.
But Colby (15-5, 4-2) answered right back in the bottom half. Garden City-native Alyssa Long smoked a one-out single off Denney that scored Katie Adler from first. Withers followed with an RBI single before two more runs scored on an error by Ochoa in left. Katelin Eastman capped off the five-run inning with a two-out, run-scoring single, and the Trojans had a three-run cushion, 7-4.
Garden City had a chance to even the score in the seventh once Denney crossed on Haley Fox's miscue at short. But with the tying run at the plate, Adams grounded into a force to end the game.
Denney allowed seven runs on six hits in six innings for Garden City. She struck out two and walked four.
Mahelani Haegele recorded the win for Colby, yielding five runs on eight hits while fanning five.
Next up: Garden City vs. Hutchinson-Friday, March 9