Devils win one, lose on at Blue River Softball Festival |

Devils win one, lose on at Blue River Softball Festival

Ryan Slabaugh

SILVERTHORNE –Eagle Valley softball started Friday’s Blue River Softball Festival with a convincing 9-1 win over Aspen, but stumbled against Summit just an hour later.

Against the Skiers, the Devils used two hits from senior Jessica Jagger to jump out to an early lead. The tournament format, which ends games after 1 hour, 15 minutes, forces teams to get off to a good start.

“You don’t want to get behind,” Devils head coach Brad Stiles said. “In the second game, we had two big errors in the first inning and we couldn’t recover.”

In the win, Brianna Ehlert scored two runs, while Morgan Strakbein drove in two. The Devils, who beat Durango Thursday, will play three games today. For those counting, that makes six contests in three days.

In the 9-0 loss to Summit, the host team, the Devils fell behind 6-0 after the first inning. For many of the Devils, Tigers pitcher Caitlin Schmidt was all too familiar. Schmidt, a junior, pitched for Eagle’s club team this summer.

With the lead, Schmidt controlled the game, allowing two hits and striking out five.

“It was weird,” Schmidt said. “You want to go root for them and then you realize you can’t.”

If not for solid defense in the latter innings, the score could have been worse. Devils center fielder Sara Lybarger saved two runs by catching a long drive from Tigers shortstop Shannon Buhler, who also played club with many of the Devils.

With the bases loaded in the second, Strakbein, the second baseman, caught a fly ball with her back turned to the plate to save more runs.

Eagle Valley threatened in the fourth by loading the bases, but a line drive off the bat of Cassidy Warner went right to the second baseman to end the game.

Eagle Valley plays Platte Canyon at 10:30 a.m., St. Mary’s Academy at noon and Rifle at 2:45. The team with the best record in the round-robin format will win the tournament.

Ryan Slabaugh can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at

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