Maybe McPherson High’s girls softball team is suffering from the Mid Kansas Sports Magazine cover jinx.
The Bullpups, who return seven starters from a Class 4A Division I state runner-up team, graced the cover of the recently released magazine, but are just 1-3 after losing both ends of a triangular here Monday.
MHS’ rally against Great Bend came up just short as the Panthers escaped with a 5-4 victory.
Against Mulvane, the Bullpups got down early and never recovered in a 10-6 loss.
But Bullpup coach Danica Fitzmorris is nowhere near close to pushing the panic button just yet as we're still in March.
"Our bats were not awake and our defense fell in line with our hitting," 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."
Great Bend is expected to be one of the better teams in Class 5A. It led 2-0 going into the fourth inning when Brooke Schrag delivered a two-run triple to tie it at 2.
The Panthers, though, came right back with a run in the fifth and added two runs in the seventh after MHS pitcher Madison Hoffman had retired the first two hitters.
The Bullpups didn't go down without a fight. Doubles by Bailea Crist, Hannah Marshall and Chelsey Kerr led to two runs, but Panther pitcher Hunter Middleton got the final out to end the game.
Middleton was terrific for Great Bend, striking out 12 and going 3 for 4 at the plate with two doubles and a single.
Crist and Marshall were both 3 for 4 to lead the Bullpups.
Great Bend pounded Mulvane 11-1 in the second game, which perhaps caused the Bullpups a false sense of security. The Wildcats pounded out 13 hits and MHS made an untidy five errors in the field as the game pretty much was forgettable.
Crist had a homer and three RBIs, while Marshall had two hits and two RBIs. Gracy Feil also collected two hits.
Elle Schrag took the loss as she worked four innings, with Hoffman finishing up.
MHS is back home Thursday to take on Rose Hill.
The MHS JVs recorded a pair of wins to even their record at 2-2.
The Bullpups defeated Great Bend, 15-10. It was a monster game for Kenzie Goering, who hit for the cycle and drove in three runs. Recording two hits each were Kaylee Hardin, Elle Schrag, Grace Colaw and Teri Yates. Schrag was the winner.
Goering was nails on the mound against Mulvane, resulting in a 6-1 win. She allowed five hits and fanned seven. Sheridan Scott smashed a triple and double to lead the offense.
MHS (4) — Crist 4-1-3-0, Hoffman 4-0-0-0, Marshall 4-1-3-1, Kerr 3-0-1-1, Wann 3-1-0-0, James 3-0-0-0, Feil 3-1-0-0, Farney 3-0-0-0, B. Schrag 3-0-1-2, Stockham 0-0-0-0..
MHS (6) — Crist 4-1-1-3, B. Schrag 4-1-0-0, Marshall 4-0-2-2, Kerr 4-0-1-0, Hoffman 4-1-1-0, Wann 3-0-0-0, Feil 3-1-2-0, E. Schrag 1-1-0-0, Stockham 1-0-0-0, James 2-0-1-1, Farney 1-1-1-0.