In game one, it was Garden City jumping on the board first, as the Busters took advantage of a Seward error to get their half of the 2nd inning going, eventually plating three unearned runs to take a 3-0 lead.
It remained a 3-0 game in favor of the Busters to the 5th when the Lady Saints finally turned their offensive switch on. Sage Harrison and Maycee Koontz cracked back to back RBI singles to get the Lady Saints back to within one and Jordan Garrison doubled both of them home to give Seward their first lead of the game at 4-3. Later in the inning a dropped fly ball by Garden City allowed Garrison to score, giving the Lady Saints a 5-3 advantage after five.
An RBI double from Harrison in the 6th tacked on an insurance run for the Lady Saints and Ruby Gonzalez did the rest in the circle, working out of a pickle in the bottom of the 7th to finish off a 6-3 win for the good guys in the opener.
Seward outhit Garden 8-5 in the contest led by Garrison and Harrison who combined for five hits and four of the Lady Saints five RBI’s in the win. Gonzalez picked up her ninth win of the season as she went the distance without allowing an earned run, yielding just five hits in the process.
SEWARD COUNTY/GARDEN CITY GAME ONE BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2016-17/boxscores/20170410_dzon.xml>
Garden once again took an early lead in game two as they took advantage of a misplayed fly ball in the Seward outfield to plate a 2nd inning run to go in front 1-0.
The Lady Saints answered back in their next at bats, getting a sacrifice fly from Jullian Atteberry to even the score and a Garden City error for their second tally of the frame to take a 2-1 lead of their own.
Garden tied things back up with a double off the wall in their half of the 3rd and that’s where things remained to the bottom of the 6th when the Busters pushed another run across to take a 3-2 advantage.
Down to their final three outs, Seward came alive again. Garrison ripped a two run single through the drawn in infield to put the Lady Saints back in front 4-3 and they didn’t stop there, loading the bases before Kristyna Garcia crushed a grand slam to right field, giving them some breathing room up 8-3.
Needing just three outs before Garden scored five runs was a seemingly simple task for the Lady Saints to wrap up a sweep, but it ended up being easier said than done. Back to back Seward errors to start the inning put the Busters in business and Garden scored their first run of the inning on a single to left field to make it 8-4. A walk loaded the bases and just as Seward did in the top of the frame, the Busters answered with a grand slam of their own in the bottom of the inning, in a flash tying the game at 8-8.
The teams went to extra innings tied at 8 and it looked like the Lady Saints would put a couple more on the board as they had runners on second and third with one out in the 8th for the middle of their order, but a groundout to third and a pop out to right ended the threat and kept the score tied.
Seward had another chance in the 9th as Sydney Epp doubled off the wall with one out, but again, they couldn’t get the big hit, leaving Epp at third at the end of the inning to keep the game tied at 8.
In in relief for Seward, Gonzalez worked a quick bottom half of the 9th for the Lady Saints, sending the game to the 10th inning still deadlocked at 8.
Starting with a runner at second to begin the 10th in the International tiebreaker, the Lady Saints failed to get the run home on their first two tries, but Maycee Koontz legged out a two out infield single and speedster Taylor Kathler flew around from second to score to put Seward on top 9-8.
Garden answered right back, using a bunt and a one out single to tie things up once again, this time at 9 after 10 innings of play.
Again starting with a runner at second in the 11th with the middle of their order at the plate, the Lady Saints looked in prime position to retake a lead, but Seward’s 3,4, and 5 hitters failed to get the ball out of the infield on three swings, bringing their half of the inning to a close with the score still tied.
Garden City took advantage of Seward’s inability to move runners in the bottom of the 11th as the Busters played small ball, sacrificing their runner to third with a bunt and then pushing her home with a suicide squeeze to walk off on the Lady Saints 10-9.
Seward again outhit Garden 12-7 in the game, but the Lady Saints committed six errors, leading to seven unearned runs in the contest. Koontz and Garrison combined for five hits at the top of the Seward order while driving home three runs. Gonzalez took a hard luck loss for Seward in relief in the circle, going four innings, allowing just two hits and no official runs to drop to 9-3 on the year.
SEWARD COUNTY/GARDEN CITY GAME TWO BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/sball/2016-17/boxscores/20170410_aw13.xml>
The Lady Saints move to 36-13 on the year with the split while taking a big Jayhawk West loss to drop to 11-3. Garden City goes to 13-27 overall and picks up just their second conference win in two seasons to improve to 2-12.
Seward will be back in action at home on Thursday when they take on the Barton Cougars at Lady Saints Field in Liberal in a 2:00 doubleheader.