By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-It was a banner day for Garden City.
Bailee Muxlow-Volk knocked in three runs, Ariel Denney allowed just four hits, and Garden City took the series finale from Seward County 11-0 on Sunday afternoon at Tangeman Sports Complex. The Saints won the opener 2-1.
Seward County entered the doubleheader just two games back of defending national champion Butler in the conference standings. But the Broncbusters were never intimidated.
Denney struck out the next two hitters before getting Corrina Porras to fly out to left, getting out of the bases-loaded jam.
Meantime the offense got going in the bottom of the first, scoring a run on a Saints' error and another on Muxlow-Volk's RBI double to right. Two batters later, Megan Jankiewicz slapped a run-scoring single that put Garden City (21-23, 8-12) on top 3-0.
While Denney got the Saints to go in order in the Seward County second, she helped out her own cause in the bottom half, ripping an RBI double to the gap. Muxlow-Volk followed with a two-run single, and the Broncbusters had a 6-0 edge.
Denney did more damage in the fourth, adding an RBI single, Jankiewicz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Alyssa Dilley singled home two, and Devin Hernandez punctuated the rout with a run-scoring single to left to make it 11-0. Denney then finished off the run-rule in the fifth.
The freshman pitcher was sensational, striking out five while throwing a 69-pitch gem. She improved to 6-3 in the circle, and collected two hits. Dilley was 2-for-3.
The losing pitcher was Jordan Cordrey, who surrendered 11 runs on 10 hits in three innings.
Game one was there for the taking as well.
Garden City starter Samantha Akers pitched brilliantly, allowing just two hits heading into the seventh. But three errors in the frame allowed two runs to score, giving the Saints a 2-0 lead.
The Broncbusters put one last rally together. With two outs, Angel Jimenez doubled to center, scoring Jessy Ortiz from second. With the tying run in scoring position, Denney had a chance to send the game into extras. But she lined out to left.
Monique Ashley picked up the win for Seward County, allowing just five hits in seven innings. She struck out three and walked two.
Akers threw 99 pitches in the loss, yielding two runs on two hits. She fanned seven.
Next up: Garden City at Dodge City-Wednesday, April 18-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.