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Goetz Delivers Clutch Hits as Dragons Split with Butler


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Sophomore first baseman Aspen Goetz delivered in the clutch numerous times on Saturday as the No. 20 Hutchinson Community College softball team and No. 17 Butler split a Jayhawk Conference doubleheader at Fun Valley.

Goetz hit a two-run walkoff home run in Game 1 to give the Blue Dragons a come-from-behind 4-3 victory. Goetz then came up big in the seventh inning in Game 2 with an RBI single that scored Olivia Sandoval to force extra innings, but Butler scored three runs in the 10th inning and held off the Blue Dragons for a 6-5 victory in the second game.

The Blue Dragons are 15-4 overall and 3-1 in the Jayhawk Conference. Hutchinson had its nine-game winning streak snapped. Hutchinson plays host to Dodge City at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at Fun Valley.

With the Blue Dragons trailing 4-3 in Game 1 entering the seventh inning, Madison Grimes drew a one-out walk. That brought up Goetz, who hit the first pitch over the right-field fence for an opposite-field walkoff two-run home run.

Goetz came up big again the seventh inning of Game 2. Trailing 3-2 with runners at first and second and two out, Goetz lined a single to left field to score Olivia Sandoval and knot the score at 3-all. Down 6-3 in the 10th inning, Goetz singled in the 10th to fuel a two-run rally that pulled the Dragons within one run.

Goetz was 4 for 8 with three RBIs in the doubleheader. Her home run was the fourth of the season for the Blue Dragon first baseman.

Down 1-0 early, the Blue Dragons took a 3-1 lead in the second inning when Sandoval launched a three-run home run to left field in the second inning.

Butler took a 4-3 lead with a three-run fourth inning and the game stayed that way until Goetz hit her walkoff home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Blue Dragons were out-hit 10-3 in Game 1. Preslee Irwin‘s single in the sixth inning was the only other Hutchinson hit. Grace Sykora drew three walks in the game.

Riley Wertz (2-0) earned the pitching victory with a season-high 3 2-3 innings of work out of the bullpen. Wertz tied a season high with seven strikeouts. She allowed three hits and one walk. She came into the game with one out in the fourth inning. After giving up a single to the first batter she faced, Wertz got a pair of strikeouts to end the Butler three-run fourth inning.

Emily Munson started in the circle for the Dragons and went three-plus innings. She allowed five hits and three earned runs. Kierstan Weitze pitched one-third of an inning in the fourth inning.

The Blue Dragons racked up 10 hits in the second game, but left 11 runners on base.

Sandoval and Goetz had three hits each, both going 3 for 5. Sandoval had two RBIs and a run scored. Goetz drove in one with one run scored.

Trailing 3-1, the Dragons pulled within one run in the bottom of the fifth when Sandoval singled home Irwin. Goetz then tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out RBI single to score Sandoval.

Both teams went scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings and, by rule, the International Tie-breaker goes into effect. Butler had a sacrifice bunt and four-straight hits to produce three runs in the top of the 10th off Wertz.

With Grimes starting at second base in the Blue Dragon 10th, Goetz moved her to third with a single. Wertz singled to score Grimes to cut the Butler lead to 6-4. Jaeleigh Darnell then fought off a pair of two-strike pitches to single to left to score Goetz to cut the Grizzly lead to 6-5, but that was as close as Hutchinson got. Irwin’s final out was a line drive to center field that was caught.

Wertz pitched a season-high 4 2-3 innings with four strikeouts. Morgan Pennycuff worked the first two innings in the circle Korri Lies went 3 1-3 innings. Butler had 12 hits off three Blue Dragon pitchers.