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Softball Dragons Close Home Slate with Sweep of Garden City

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (BlueDragonSports.com) – The Hutchinson Community College softball team earned a Jayhawk Conference doubleheader sweep of Garden City on Wednesday in the final home games of the 2024 season at Fun Valley.

Brie Brawner tied a career high with three RBIs and Dakota Lake tied a career high with 13 strikeouts in Hutchinson’s 9-2 victory in Game 1. Then Tamara Lozoya hit a three-run home run while Korri Lies and Jaala Nowlin combined on a three-hit shutout in a 13-0 five-inning run-rule victory in Game 2.

The Blue Dragons are now a season-high 30 games over .500 at 39-9 overall and remain in second place in the KJCCC at 26-4. Hutchinson closes out the regular season on Saturday at Barton. Garden City is now 8-36 overall and 6-24 in the league. Hutchinson sweeps the regular-season series with the Broncbusters and have won nine-straight games over Garden City.

The 39 victories tie for the fifth-most wins in team history, matching the 1992 and 2011 teams.

GAME 1 RECAP – Hutchinson 9, Garden City 2

BOX SCORE

Lake surpassed 10 strikeouts in a game for the fourth time this season, tying a career high with 13 strikeouts she first accomplished on February 1 against the Ottawa University JV. Her 13 strikeouts tied for the fourth-most in single-season program history.

The Blue Dragon freshman improved to 8-3 for the season with her fourth complete game of the year. Lake allowed five hits, two earned runs and four walks. She gave up single runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

Lake’s teammates gave her plenty of run support, breaking open a two-run game with six combined runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Hutchinson out-hit Garden City 11-5. Lies had the only extra-base hit for Hutchinson, a double in the third inning.

Bailey Backhaus had her 25th multi-hit game and ninth with three or more hits, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored, an RBI and stolen base.

Brawner tied a season high with three RBIs, going 2 for 3. She had an RBI infield single in the first inning and a two-run single in the sixth. Alexis Mastin drove in a pair of runs with an RBI single in the first and her sixth sacrifice fly of the season in the fourth. Olivia Sandoval had a two-run single in the fourth inning.

The Blue Dragons were hit with pitches a season-high six times. Jaeleigh Darnell was plunked twice in the game.

GAME 2 RECAP – Hutchinson 13, Garden City 0 (5 innings)

BOX SCORE

The Blue Dragons followed pretty much the same recipe against Garden City in the second game – strong pitching and bunching runs together.

Lies improved to 5-1 in the pitching circle with four shutout innings. She allowed three hits and walked one with one strikeout. Lies stranded three baserunners in scoring position, including Cadence Mallet, who led off the fourth inning with a double and reached third with one out. Lies got a key infield pop-up caught by Lozoya and a line-out to shortstop Emily Dice to get out of the inning unscored upon.

Nowlin retired Garden Cit in order in the fifth inning to close out Hutchinson’s 23rd run-rule win of the season.

The Blue Dragons out-hit Garden City 13-3 in Game 2 with three extra-base hits. Five different Blue Dragons had two hits each in the game.

Sandoval was 2 for 3 with RBI singles in the second and third innings for her 25th multi-hit game of the season.

Lies helped herself out going 2 for 3 with a two-run triple in a seven-run third inning.

Brooke Backhaus was 2 for 2 with a walk and two two-out RBI singles in the first and second innings. Madi Divis and Darnell both had two hits each.

Lozoya was 1 for 2, but her lone hit was a three-run home run – her third of the season – in the third inning.

With her stolen base in the third inning, Bailey Backhaus reached 20 stolen bases for the season.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons finish the home portion of the schedule 15-3 this season at Fun Valley. … Olivia Sandoval is now ranked second on the Blue Dragon single-season hits list with 83 hits and fifth on the season RBI list with 61. … Sandoval now ranks third on the career hits list with 160, second on the career runs scored list with 126 and third on the career RBI list with 120. … Jaeleigh Darnell now ranks fifth on the Blue Dragon single-season hits list with 79 and sixth on the season RBI list with 60. … Darnell now ranks 17th on the career hits list with 120. … Bailey Backhaus is now sixth on the single-season hits list with 78. … Alexis Mastin is now third on the single-season RBI list with 63 and fifth on the career RBI list with 113.