The Conquistadors softball team lost its third and fourth straight game Saturday, falling 12-4 and 11-0 to the Colby Trojans.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Conqs fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and 7-0 after the top of the third before scoring one in the bottom of the third and three in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to 7-4.
The Trojans scored five runs in the top of the seventh though, and held the Conqs scoreless in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.
In the second half of the doubleheader, Colby won 11-0 in six innings behind a strong performance by freshman Mahealani Haegele, who pitched all six innings allowing only three hits. She walked one, but struck out eight. Colby scored two in the first inning, one in the third, four in the fourth and four in the sixth.
Dodge City committed a combined six errors in the two games. Colby committed just one.
Conqs head coach Howie Smith said the team is struggling to make “routine plays,” a struggle which affected the team both in Friday’s loses to Lamar and Saturday’s to Colby.
“We’re just giving up big innings and we can’t do that against the better teams in the conference or even a team like Lamar,” Smith said. “You just can’t give away runs, can’t give away outs. I mean we gave ‘em six outs in the first inning of the first game (Saturday) and then we gave ‘em four outs in the first inning of the second game.”
Dodge City sophomore Brittney Gonzalez had two hits in the first game and two hits in the second, leading the Conquistadors Saturday in that category. Freshman Caley Best had three hits between the two games.
The team had its opportunities, Smith said.
“We could have got a three-up, three-down, maybe had a little bit of momentum, and it didn’t happen,” Smith said.
The team’s defense got better, Smith said. After about the third inning of the first game, the Conqs changed their defense to take away the short game, at which point Smith said he thought the Conqs kept Colby’s left-handed hitters largely off the bases.
“But I don’t care you are, I don’t care who you’re playing, you cannot give five, six, seven outs away and then when you struggle hitting it’s all contagious,” Smith said. “We’ve had a great week and a half hitting the ball and scoring a lot of runs and now boom, it was complete 180: We’re getting shutout, not producing runs and giving up a lot of runs, so I mean it just reversed.”
The team is still finding its way though, and at 7-7 overall, the team still has only as many loses as it does wins.
“We’re still .500, but we’ve gotta withstand this,” Smith said. “Going to Butler Tuesday that’s gonna be a tall task for us, but for the most part I was proud that our pitchers made some pitches where we got ground-balls, stuff like that. We just didn’t execute.”
The Conquistadors softball team heads to El Dorado, Kansas today to take on Butler Community College in a doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for 2 p.m., the second at 4 p.m.