One bad inning separated Pittsburg from a sweep Tuesday night of Blue Valley Northwest during its live action new home field opener.
Blue Valley Northwest scored 10 runs in the top of the eighth in a 13-3 extra innings Game 1 victory but Pittsburg came back for the split with four in the first, three in the third and one in the fourth en route to a 8-4 win in Game 2.
"That's one thing we've done all year," Pittsburg first year head coach Megan Burleson said. "We've been able to brush things off and come back and do what we've had to do. That's something, like I said, we've done year and we'll have to continue to do and I think I will."
Game 1 starter Mercedes Vogel had only allowed a pair of hits before that eighth inning and Game 2 starter Reagan Rink was solid in the circle.
"Pitching was phenomenal," Burleson said. "I can't say enough about Mercedes. A lot of those weren't earned runs and Reagan really came out and stepped up and did everything I asked her to do. I was really proud of her game today."
In the opener, Pittsburg came out strong with three runs on three hits and two Blue Valley Northwest errors. Abby Harris sparked it all with a triple and Vogel and Abby Herring collected RBI singles.
However, after that, Blue Valley Northwest starter Carly Shniderson tossed goose eggs and the Huskies pecked away on a 3-1 deficit until gaining a 3-all score in the fourth.
In that crazy eighth, Harjit Dosanjh hit a two-run double, Taryn Thomas a two-run single, Kaitlyn Styve a RBI triple and Shniderson a pair of RBI singles. The Huskies sent up 15 batters in the frame.
In the nightcap, Pittsburg came out stronger with four in the first on seven hits. Bethanne Elliott, Rink and Emily Wood hit back-to-back-to-back RBI singles.
Pittsburg scored three more in the third, highlighted by a Vogel two-run double, and one more in the fourth, with a RBI double by Caitlyn Burdick.
In the seventh, after Dosanjh connected on a triple, Vogel's strong arm at shortstop and Elliott's long arms and legs at first base combined on three consecutive 6-3 groundouts to end the game.
"That first game, I felt like we got really tense and we stopped playing because we were ahead for a little bit," Burleson said. "Then we decided, 'Oh, what do we do?' and we got a little stiff. I think, in that second game, we did a good job of staying loose and staying ready and really hitting the ball."
Pittsburg's first six games of the season came on the road — two in Columbus, two in Fort Scott and two in Chanute. This was the first non-scrimmage played on the new field at the high school, taking on a Class 6A school in Blue Valley Northwest.
"To open with Blue Valley, it's always a little bit crazy and to get a win out of it, it's always a bonus," Burleson said. "The crowd that we had out here today was phenomenal. It was just packed, so I'm very happy with that."
Pittsburg goes back on the road again Thursday to face Fort Scott — playing their ninth and 10th games of the regular season and reaching the halfway mark of the season.
The split Tuesday left Pittsburg with a 4-4 overall record on the season, 4-2 against nonconference opponents.
HUSKIES 13, PURPLE DRAGONS 3 (8 INNINGS)
BVNW 101 100 0(10) — 13 10 4
PITT 300 000 0 — 3 5 3
Carly Shniderson and Kaitlyn Styve. Mercedes Vogel and Abby Harris. WP: Shniderson. LP: Vogel. 3B: Styve; Harris. 2B: Harjit Dosanjh. SF: Rachel Chalupa. SH: Reagan Whitworth. SB: Vogel.
PURPLE DRAGONS 8, HUSKIES 4
BVNW 120 000 1 — 4
PITT 403 100 X — 8
WP: Reagan Rink. LP: Emily Kuhlmann. 3B: Harjit Dosanjh. 2B: Mercedes Vogel, Caitlyn Burdick. SH: Kalleigh Petersen; Hannah Drenik. HBP: Kaitlyn Styve, Taryn Thomas.