The Dodge City Conquistadors lost their opening game of the NJCAA Region VI Softball Tournament, falling by a score of 6-4 to the Seward County Saints Friday.
In the bottom of the third, the Saints opened up the scoring, getting three runs to take a 3-0 lead. In the top of the fourth, the Conquistadors scored two to cut the lead to just one, but in the bottom of the fourth, with two outs, Seward sophomore Kaitlin Ammermann hit a high popup near second base with a runner on second.
Three Conquistadors were close to it, but the three apparently didn’t communicate, and the ball dropped, allowing Ammermann to make it to second under a tag, and the runner who had been on second to score, giving the Saints a 4-2 lead.
Conquistador head coach Howie Smith said he wasn’t sure if someone called it or not, he didn’t ask them because he was trying to get them ready for the next half of the inning so they could hopefully answer back on offense.
“It seems like that’s kind of the way it’s been for us all year, you know; a play her or there and we could win a game,” Smith said. “All three got there, and all of a sudden I see it drop. It’s like ’gosh darn it.’”
In the top of the sixth, Conquistador freshman Jade Brallier and sophomore Brooklyn Botts were both hit by pitches, with sophomore Alex Stecklein getting on base with a single.
Sophomore Brittney Gonzalez came up next, and hit a ball that bounced off and between the legs of an infielder near first base, allowing two runs to score, tying the game at 4-4 before Gonzalez was tagged out trying to take second on the play.
“That was huge,” Smith said.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Seward sophomore Raelyn Sanchez led off with a single, then sophomore Jullian Atteberry was walked before Ammermann grounded out.
Next up was sophomore Sydney Epp, who hit a 2-RBI double to give the Saints the final 6-4 lead.
With the loss the Conquistadors take on familiar foes in the Northwest Kansas Tech Mavericks. That game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.
The Conquistadors lost all four regular-season games against the Mavericks, but two of them came in extra innings, one being settled in eight, another having gone 10.
“We had a shot to win three out of four (against the Mavericks),” Smith said.
The Conquistadors played with good energy, and defensively looked strong throughout the day against Seward. That’ll have to continue if they want to keep their season alive by beating the Mavericks.
The losing team of Saturday’s game between the two will be done for the season.
Other scores from the day
In the first game of the tournament, Butler beat Pratt 9-1, scoring four runs in the first, two in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth. Pratt scored their lone run in the fourth inning.
In game two, Bart scored two in the bottom of the first, but Garden City answered in the top of the second with three runs to take a 3-2 lead. Garden City added one more in the fourth, but Barton tied the game in the fifth, scoring two. Barton ended it in the seventh getting a single run with one out in the bottom of the seventh to take the game 5-4.
Game three, Colby and Northwest Kansas Tech were scoreless through the top of the seventh inning, and it appeared the two teams might go to extras. But with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, a two-out swing by sophomore Jaycie George changed all of that. George connected on a pitch and sent it sailing over the center-field wall, winning the game for the Trojans on a walk-off home run.
- At 9 a.m. : Pratt takes on Garden City
- At 11 a.m. : Northwest Kansas Tech takes on Dodge City
- At 1 p.m. : Butler takes on Barton
- At 3 p.m. : Colby takes on Seward
Saturday’s 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. games will be determined based on results in the first four games of the day.