With a chance to slowly climb back into the Western Athletic Conference race, the Dodge City Lady Demon softball team hit the road to Garden City on Friday night for a double-header against the Lady Buffaloes. It would be a tough task for the Demons, but with their will and determination, there was confidence they could get the job done.


With a chance to slowly climb back into the Western Athletic Conference race, the Dodge City Lady Demon softball team hit the road to Garden City on Friday night for a double-header against the Lady Buffaloes. It would be a tough task for the Demons, but with their will and determination, there was confidence they could get the job done.
     However, a couple of big innings from Garden in both games left the Demons in a bigger hole than they could dig out of, as they swept the two-game series with 12-2 and 11-0 victories to leave Dodge City winless in conference contests.
     “In game one, I thought we had some very good at bats, both Garden pitchers are very strong and I was very happy with how we had baserunners in almost every inning,” said head coach Heather Steiner. “Obviously we gave up those big run innings, which are hard to come back from. But I still felt we tried to fight for runs.”
     Things began quite nicely for Steiner and company, as the Demons jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to an Alexis Sanchez RBI single that plated senior Ashley Stephenson. But that cushion would be wiped away in the bottom of the first inning, as the Buffs crossed home three times to give them a 3-1 lead.
     The Demons fought hard to keep it just a 3-1 game at the end of three innings, but it wouldn’t last that way for very long. Garden City capitalized on a couple of key Dodge City errors to score six runs in the fourth to extend their advantage to 9-1.
     Despite scoring in the top of the fifth inning, the Demons had no answer for the Buffaloes offense, as they scored three times in the bottom of the frame to end the game on the 10-run rule.
     For Steiner, her core group of younger athletes are really starting to come through, showcasing the promise they have for the future.
     “Lauren Oldham is hitting the ball really well right now, she’s come up and has done big things for us,” she said. “They are just stepping up and are starting to swing the bat better. Riley Lopp is putting the ball in play consistently as well.”
     As for the finale, Dodge City’s offense never fully got off the ground. They had trouble against a stout Garden City pitching staff that has been very strong throughout the season.
     They found themselves in a big hole early, as the Buffs put up five runs in the bottom of the first to give them all the run support they would need. They would go on to add six more runs in the next four innings to close the game out in five.
     Now the Demons will look to turn things around in the final few contests, as they look to build the experience of the younger players in hopes that they can come back next season with a whole new perspective on softball.
     “We have a really challenging schedule against a lot of good teams that play well within our regional,” Steiner said. “They need to understand that hopefully when it comes time for regionals, or next season, that they’re prepared to play these better teams. They need to have the confidence and experience.”
     Up next for the Demons is a makeup double-header against Colby on Tuesday, which will be Senior Night for Dodge City. Seniors Ashley Stephenson, Janessa Rodriguez, Katie Tieben, and two junior varsity players will be honored before the games. Start time is scheduled for 4 p.m.