Devils softball sneaks away with 2-1 victory
EAGLE – Like a game between Pedro Martinez and Russ Ortiz, the 3A Devils’ game against 4A Delta Tuesday afternoon turned into a pitchers’ duel.
Sara LyBarger and Eagle Valley gave up a run in the first inning – which prevented the shutout – but went on to beat Camill Gibson and the Panthers, 2-1.
“Last year, they beat us, 10-0,” said Eagle Valley coach Brad Stiles. “But, we were pretty impressive. We came out with no sign of letting up like last year. Instead, we took a tight game into late innings and won.”
The Devils, who are 2-0 in league play and 7-3 overall, made a lot of contact, but it was their defense that looked truly solid.
“The defense looked much better than usual,” said Stiles. “Though, we’ll continue to work on hitting and defense. We put the bat on the ball a lot today, but there weren’t a lot of hits.”
Eagle Valley’s Suzy Moore went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and in the bottom of the sixth had a key grounder, which moved designated hitter Kayla Phillips from second to third.
Phillips led the inning off with a double landing just fair of the right-field line. Moore’s grounder moved Phillips to third. Chelsey Lueders hit a grounder back at Panthers pitcher Gibson.
Instead of going home with the ball, or even looking at third base, Gibson tossed the ball to first for the easy out.
So, Phillips scored what would end up being the winning run easily to break the 1-1 tie.
In the top of the seventh inning, LyBarger looked flawless.
The Panthers’ first batter popped-up foul to Moore. The next batter flew out to left field. And, the final batter hit a routine grounder to second, which the Devils handled smoothly.
“I’m always happy with Sara’s pitching. without that stolen base in the first inning, she would have had a shutout,” said Stiles. “Suzy Moore hit the ball well.”
Brianna Ehlert knocked LyBarger in for the Devils’ first run of the game. LyBarger went 2-for-4 on the day.
The Devils have another day of practice before they face Middle Park Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.
Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at email@example.com.