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Grimes Milestone Hit Powers Dragon Comeback


Hutchinson CC Sports Information


GARDEN CITY, Kan. ( – Madison Grimes‘ 200th career hit as a Blue Dragon might be the most meaningful in her three seasons with the Hutchinson Community College softball team.

With the No. 15-ranked Blue Dragons trailing Garden City by two runs entering the final inning of Game 1 on Saturday at Buster Field, Grimes’ third hit of the game and 200th of her career drove in two runs to tie the game and spark a six-run explosion as Hutchinson rallied for an 8-4 victory.

The Blue Dragons run-ruled the Broncbusters 13-0 in Game 2 to run their current winning streak to eight games. More importantly, the Blue Dragons maintained their one-game lead in the Jayhawk Conference over Butler and are now 37-6 overall and 25-3 in the league. The Blue Dragons are scheduled to play Seward County on Wednesday, the McPherson College JV on Friday and Pratt on Saturday – all at Fun Valley – to close out the regular season.

Grimes became just the third Jayhawk Conference softball player to reach 200 hits in a career. With six total hits on Saturday, Grimes’ 203 total hits is just two shy of moving past Cowley’s Haley Strawn into second place on the KJCCC career hits list.

When Grimes later scored in that six-run seventh inning in Game 1, the Blue Dragon sophomore broke the KJCCC record for runs scored. She now has scored 167 career runs, surpassing Strawn’s old record of 164 set in 2012 and 2013.

Garden City struck for four runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 4-0 lead over the Blue Dragons. Hutchinson answered back with two runs in the third when Grimes had an RBI single and Aspen Goetz‘s sacrifice fly scored Ella Dougherty to cut the Dragon deficit to 4-2.

Hutchinson mustered only one hit from the fourth through sixth innings, keeping the pressure on sophomore pitcher Riley Wertz to keep the game close.

Entering the game with one out in the second inning, Wertz (3-2) struck out two Busters to get out of the inning. She went on to pitch 5 2-3 scoreless innings to earn her third victory of the season. Wertz didn’t allow a hit. She walked seven and struck out two.

With sole possession of first place hanging in the balance entering the seventh inning, the seven started with back-to-back walks to Korri Lies and Ella Dougherty. Trying to sacrifice the runners up 60 feet, Olivia Sandoval wound up with a bunt single to load the bases with no out.

Grimes then laced a single up the middle to score Lies and pinch runner Tamara Lozoya to tie the game at 4-all. The Dragons took a 5-4 lead on a Goetz RBI single to center to drove in pinch runner Preslee IrwinAlexis Mastin then capped the comeback with a three-run home run to center field for an 8-4 lead.

Wertz retired the final 11 Garden City batters she faced in the game.

Grimes went 3 for 4 with three RBIs to lead the Dragons, who had nine hits in Game 1. Sandoval had two hits. Mastin’s home run was her eight of the season.

The Blue Dragons left nothing to chance in Game 2, scoring five runs in the first and had 16 total hits.

Grimes had her second-straight 3 for 4 game in the doubleheader with an RBI triple, two runs and two RBIs.

Goetz went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Now with 70 RBIs for the season, she moved into second place on the Blue Dragon single-season RBI list. Now with 109 career RBIs, Goetz is No. 3 on the career Hutchinson RBI list.

Wertz hit two home runs, going 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Now with 17 career homers, Wertz is tied with Taylor Ullery and Raven Bass for eighth on the career home run list.

Sandoval was 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI. With 18 doubles for the season, Sandoval is tied with Nicole Bauer, Tori Caruthers and Carley Sternecker for fourth place on the single-season doubles list.

Jaeleigh Darnell was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs. Allie Stipsits also had two hits.

Morgan Pennycuff improved to 13-2 in the pitching circle with four innings of shutout work. She allowed just two hits and a walk with one strikeout. Wertz pitched the fifth inning on a non-save situation and struck out one.