DCCC Softball: Conqs Drop Two Straight, Fall to Champion of Region VI Tournament

Joe Penno
DCCC Sports Information Director

The Dodge City Community College softball team finished their season with two losses in the Region VI tournament held at Legends Park in Dodge City.

The Conqs faced the third-ranked nationally Butler Grizzlies in opening round action, falling 12-1. The lone run for the Conquistadors was one of three runs the Grizzlies' defense surrendered all tournament on their way to a convincing championship win.

After losing in the first round, the Conquistadors had an opportunity to play their way back into championship contention through the consolation bracket. The Conqs took on the Independence Pirates on Saturday morning, losing 12-11.

The two teams traded blows in the early innings. Makayla Garcia got things started with a three-run home run in the top of the first inning to give the Conqs a 3-0 lead. With the Pirates batting second as the higher seed, they were able to take the lead after one with four runs of their own in the 1st inning.

With the two teams trading the lead all game, the Conquistadors took a 9-8 lead into the bottom of the 6th after Garcia hit her third home run of the game to score AJ Poell.

Independence used two home runs in the bottom of the 6th to score four runs and go ahead 12-9. With one opportunity remaining to mount a comeback, the Conquistadors' Madyson McCage hit a two-RBI triple with two outs in the top of the 7th to pull within one at 12-11.

With McCage representing the tying run on third, Garcia was walked onto first as the go-ahead run. The Conqs couldn't capitalize with runners on the corners as KarliAnn Bauer struck out, giving the Pirates a 12-11 victory.

Despite the loss, a couple Conqs had career days at the plate on Saturday. Sophomore Daysha Mendez ended her career with a 4-5 outing, scoring two runs. Garcia went a perfect 4-4 with three home runs, accounting for six RBIs in the process. The three home runs for Garcia is a single-game record for Conquistador softball.

"We got off to a rough start against Butler making a couple of key mistakes in the first inning," said head coach Howie Smith. "Saturday against Independence was just a heavyweight boxing match. Both teams played hard, not wanting their season to come to an end. I'm proud of how our players kept battling back in the game. Obviously, it's disappointing that we didn't advance further in the tournament, but a lot of freshmen got to experience what the region tournament is all about and we will be even more ready for next year. We have a very good core of freshmen coming back that got a lot of playing time and experience, plus we have a very good incoming class which we are very excited about."

The Conquistadors finish the season 15-23 overall and 10-16 in KJCCC play.

The Conqs have their 2021 recruiting class finalized, which can be viewed at https://goconqs.com/news/2021/2/2/lady-conqs-softball-finalize-recruiting-class.aspx.