The Dodge City Lady Conquistadors opened up their season by winning two of five games in a round-robin tournament hosted by Midland Community College.
Considering it was the Lady Conqs first action of the season and that they played well against a number of ranked squads from Texas and New Mexico, the effort pleased the DCCC coaching staff.
Dodge City opened up Friday with a 7-1 decision over Western Texas College; followed by setbacks to Midland (11-2) and Clarendon (9-5). The Lady Conqs split their games on Saturday, losing to Odessa (Texas) 12-11 in eight innings before closing out the day by beating Luna (N.M) 10-7.
"We played very well considering we hadn't played before and everyone else had already played," said DCCC head coach Howie Smith. "Odessa is ranked and Western Texas beat Labette and Cowley, two of the stronger teams in our conference, last week. We feel very good about how we played last week.
"We did some things we had been working on and we changed a lot of things we did on the base-running stuff from the fall."
Abby Morrison and Taylee Heckman were the only pitchers available for the Lady Conqs as Jaycie Morris was unavailable due to a back injury during practice. Morrison went 2-1 on the weekend, while Heckman went 0-2, but Smith said both stepped in and helped the Lady Conqs get through the weekend.
"Abby and Taylee stepped up and did a yeoman's work by throwing 36 innings for us," Smith said. "They did an unbelievable job and they didn't even have fumes left when they got through Saturday."
Morrison threw a complete game for Dodge City in the Western Texas win, giving up three hits and one walk, while striking out 10. Heckman was 3-for-3 with a home run; while Morrison also hit a home run, and Kayli Keate hit a two-run single.
Midland led 6-2 with two out going into the top of the seventh, but an error allowed five more runs to cross the plate. Makensy Payne hit a RBI single and the second run scored on an error.
"The score didn't indicate how close the game was," Smith said about the Midland game. "We had one girl dead to rights at home plate, but she scored and Midland just started adding on hits."
The Lady Conqs only had five minutes in between the Midland and Clarendon games, so Morrison wasn't prepared when Clarendon scored five runs in the top of the first inning. Dodge City was able to cut the margin to 7-5, but Clarendon scored two more runs to seal the victory.
Payne had two hits and two RBIs, while Haley Wedgewood had a solo home run. Mackenzie Maes and Danika Chavez also had two hits apiece in the loss.
The one heartbreaker for the Lady Conqs came in the extra-iining loss to Odessa. The Lady Conqs were ahead 11-7 going into the bottom of the sixth inning before the Texas team was able to tie the game up and then closed out the win on a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.
Heckman took the setback in the game with Amanda Best going 4-for-4 with a home run and six RBI, while Heckman also had a two-run home run, and Maes had a two-run single.
The Lady Conqs closed out the day with the victory over the New Mexico club. Morrison was the winning pitcher in the nightcap. Heckman hit her third home run of the weekend, a two-run shot in the first. Chavez was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, Morrison, Best and Rhianoon Beck had two hits with a RBI apiece.
Dodge City's next action is scheduled to be against Seward County at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Legends Park, but the game could be called due to the possibility of winter weather expected later this week.