The Dodge City Red Demons softball team is going to the 6A State Softball Tournament.
The Lady Demons won the Garden City Regional Wednesday night to secure their spot, rolling easily through Wichita West 15-0 before needing a late-inning comeback against Hutchinson.
State takes place May 24-25 at Lawrence-Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas. According to the Kansas State High School Activities Association website, K-12 tickets are $6, adult tickets are $8. There is also no parking charge.
In the first game of the day, Dodge City put up nine runs in the first inning and six in the second. The game ended in just three innings due to run rules.
The second game of the Garden City Regional featured No. 4 seed Garden City against No. 13 seeded Hutchinson. Garden City entered the game 15-5 overall this season, while Hutchinson entered with the exact opposite record of 5-15 overall.
Still, the Hutchinson Salthawks pulled off the upset, beating Garden City 4-2 and advancing to face Dodge City.
If the Red Demons first game lacked any significant drama, the second one well made up for it.
In the top of the first, Hutchinson scored one run to take a 1-0 lead. The Red Demons tied it after a high hit from senior Grace Ruehle dropped, allowing senior Shaylyn Turner to score.
Neither team scored in the third or fourth. In the bottom of the fifth, the Salthawks scored once, taking a 2-1 lead into the Demon half of the inning. The Salthawks defense held Dodge City scoreless in the fifth before their offense added four more on two hits with three Demon errors in the top of the sixth.
The Red Demons fought back though. It started with a run scored on a sacrifice-fly by senior Jessica Olivarez. Sophomore Elise Helfrich then batted in another on a single. In the end, the Red Demons scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth on three hits and with three Salthawk errors.
They held Hutchinson hitless and scoreless in the top of the seventh to secure their trip to Lawrence.
Other 6A Regional winners Wednesday night included Derby, Lawrence Free State, Overland Park-Blue Valley, Olathe North, Olathe South and Olathe Northwest.
The Washburn Rural Regional champion is the last one to be determined. Play there is scheduled for Thursday, featuring No. 3 seed Washburn Rural against No. 14 seed Wichita North in the 3:30 p.m. game and No. 6 seed Wichita Southeast against No. 11 seed Manhattan in the 2 p.m. game.
Reporting via Twitter by Dodge City High School Athletics contributed to this report.