Devils beat Cowboys in frigid weather |

Devils beat Cowboys in frigid weather

Ian Cropp

GUNNISON – It’s not always fun to swing a bat when the temperature is around freezing. But everything hurts a little less when you win.Eagle Valley softball didn’t seem to mind cranking hits on a cold Tuesday night against Gunnison, in a 24-13 win.”I’m sure it stung their hands a bunch,” said Eagle Valley coach Bill Beasley. “The girls were shaking their hands after they hit the ball.”Swinging the bat wasn’t pure volition for the Devils, however, as they had to mount a comeback after trailing 10-2 going into the second inning. “Our pitching struggled in the first inning,” Beasley said. “All of Gunnison’s runs came off of walks. We had a few parents that were getting some gray hairs along with me in the first.”Beasley put in Chelsey Lueders after several Devils pitchers were unable to find the strike zone. Lueders finished the game strong, allowing only three hits.While the Cowboys benefited from walks, the Devils had to do more than use free rides to close the deficit. Over the next five innings, Eagle Valley outscored Gunnison, 22-3.”I knew we could hit the ball, and our bats came alive,” Beasley said.Due to the weather, the game lasted six innings.Emily at batEmily LyBarger had a huge day at the plate, going 6-for-6, with a grand slam, a two-run homerun and four singles.LyBarger, who usually bats first because of her ability to get on base with the bunt, switched batting places with Amy Strakbein, who usually bats second.Strakbein went 5-for-6 in the leadoff spot, and advanced like LyBarger does, stealing two bases. LyBarger’s wheels were moving well, as she had five steals.A sore hamstring sidelined catcher Kayla Phillips, and Miranda Hicks took her place behind the plate. Hicks reached base three times.”She did a heck of a job, and is getting better every game,” Beasley said of Hicks.Lueders had a good day on offense, going 3-for-6 to match the number of hits she allowed, while stealing two bases.Today Eagle Valley faces Rifle at the Gypsum Sports Complex at 5:30 p.m.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or, Colorado

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