Probably the best news for the McPherson High School softball team is that Monday’s triangular against Great Bend and Mulvane will not make or break their season.

Probably the best news for the McPherson High School softball team is that Monday’s triangular against Great Bend and Mulvane will not make or break their season.
The Lady Pups had an uncharacteristically off night on both sides of the ball in their home opener at Grant Sports Complex, as they fell to Great Bend 5-4 and then 10-6 to Mulvane.
“Our bats were not awake and our defense fell in line with our hitting,” Bullpup coach Danica Fitzmorris said. “The only positive is that these two games don't define our season. It is early and we have some time to get our game where it needs to be.”
Game one was dominated by Great Bend pitcher Hunter Middleton, who struck out 12 MHS batters while giving up eight hits and just two walks.
Bailea Crist and Hannah Marshall provided most of the offensive spark, as far as hitting goes, as they both went 3 for 4 with a run scored. Crist had two doubles in the game.
Junior Chelsey Kerr, who was instrumental in a win over Augusta Thursday, was held somewhat quiet by Middleton, as Kerr recorded just one hit, an RBI double.
“[Middleton’s] rise ball is something we don’t typically see in our league,” Fitzmorris said. “So, that was a struggle for us. We talked a little about that. We just have to get up in the box and get in front of it. Or get in the back of the box and let them call ball on it. But we did not adjust as quickly as I’d hoped we would to that.”
The Bullpups (1-3) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth at 2-2, but Great Bend scored one run in the fifth and two more in the seventh. McPherson had the opportunity to tie the game, as Kerr had her RBI double to left field that was very nearly over the fence and would have gridlocked the score at 5-5.
Madison Hoffman took the loss, going all seven innings and giving up four earned runs on nine hits with three strike outs and no walks.
The Bullpups’ fortunes didn’t improve any against Mulvane, as the Wildcats rocked starting pitcher Elle Schrag for a three-run home run from Emery Potucek on a 1-2 count with one out. The Wildcats would add two more in the third inning.
Crist did get the Lady Pups back into the game with an inside the park home run in the bottom of the fourth that scored Schrag and Gracy Feil and made it 5-4. The rally did not last long, however, as the Wildcats had a six-run sixth.
Schrag went four innings before Hoffman took the pitcher’s circle in relief. Schrag gave up four earned runs on six hits in the loss. Hoffman had two earned runs against her off seven hits and a walk, with two strike outs.
Marshall and Feil both had two hits, with Marshall also picking up two RBIs.
The JV Pups won both of their games, as they defeated Mulvane 6-1 and Great Bend 15-10 in a shootout.
Kenzie Goering had a 4 for 5 showing in the Great Bend game, as she hit for the cycle and had three RBIs and four runs scored. Schrag had the win in the circle, giving up just one earned run on 13 hits with seven strike outs.
Sheridan Scott had a double and a triple against Mulvane. Goering took the win by giving up the one earned run on five hits with seven strike outs.
McPherson is at home against Thursday for an AVCTL Division III battle with Rose Hill.

Contact Chris Swick by email at cswick@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.