*Editor's Note: Between games one and two, five seniors in the Red Demon Softball program and their families were recognized during a ceremony. The photos attached to this story come from that ceremony, but for more, see our photo album on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2390643887627689.1073741832.435705763121521&type=1&l=96a92abab7
As for the recap of the games:
Temperatures hung in the mid to low 40’s as the Dodge City Red Demons softball team took on the Ulysses Tigers Tuesday night.
The weather didn’t seem to cool off the Red Demons’ bats though.
The Red Demons rolled the Tigers in the first game, winning 17-0 in three innings. They had to work harder in the second game, but won 12-2 in five innings, earning their fifth sweep of the season.
The wins gave them eight straight, and left them with a record of 12-2, and 4-0 in conference play.
Pitching wasn’t always perfect for the Red Demons, with the Tigers getting multiple runners on base in the first inning of game one. They were unable to capitalize however, and in the first game, the Red Demons made them pay.
The first two Red Demon batters made it on via walk. Junior Caroline Williams made it on via a traditional walk, then senior Shaylyn Turner was walked when she was hit by a pitch. That brought freshman pitcher Raemie Lopp to the plate, and on the first pitch, she connected, driving the ball over the left-field fence to bring them all home.
It was her first home run in high school, and made the score 3-0 Red Demons. Senior Grace Ruehle then came up, and hit a solo home run herself, pushing the Red Demons lead to 4-0.
“I knew we were gonna have to be selective on pitching,” Red Demon head coach Ashley Podschun said. “I knew they were gonna struggle throwing strikes, so I told the girls to be patient, just look for their pitch, don’t help ‘em out. So the first two girls did a good job watching balls go by, they swung at some strikes but I’m not mad about that, and then Raemie comes up, she hits her first high school home run, so that’s kind of nice with two runners on.”
Lopp had a big day, Podschun said, and that she was super proud of Lopp.
“It’s nice going in, holding ‘em, and then going out and hitting and getting a fast five (inning win),” Podschun said. “It kind of makes you relax a little bit and kind of settle in a little bit quicker.”
After the first inning, the Red Demons led 5-0, but after holding the Tigers scoreless again in the second, they blew the game wide open.
Senior Alexis Ontiberos led off with a walk, then Williams walked again, as did Turner to load the bases. Raemie Lopp came up to bat again, but she was also walked, which walked a run across to make the score 6-0.
Ruehle followed, and flew-out to center for the inning’s first out, but later in the inning she made up for it, hitting a grand slam.
The Red Demons ended up scoring 12 runs in the second inning of the first game.
In the second game, the Tigers scored two in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. The Red Demons scored one in the bottom of the first, but like the first game, most of their offense in the second game came in the second inning, when they scored five runs.
Of their 29 combined runs in the two games, the Red Demons scored 17 of them in second innings.
“We saw (the Tigers’ pitcher) for the second time,” Podschun said. “So everybody had seen her, so they didn’t have any surprises, and then hitting’s contagious. When one person’s hitting, then they can just pass it down the row. It just continues, so that’s kind of what today was first game, was just the contagiousness of hitting, just staying hot and passing the bat to the next person.
All five of their second-inning runs in the second game came with two outs.
“I told the girls coming it we weren’t quite as focused, kind of overthinking our hitting,” Podschun said. “So I just told ‘em to settle in, and look at their pitch. Once they started actually swinging at the strikes and not the balls, that’s the result you’re gonna get.”
The Red Demons are next in action Tuesday May 1, when they head to Garden City to take on the Buffaloes.