Eagle Valley falls in season opener | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley falls in season opener

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado

MONTROSE, Colorado ” If not for a mistake or two, the Eagle Valley softball team could be celebrating a season-opening win over Montrose. Instead, errors hurt the Devils in a 7-4 loss on Tuesday.

Eagle Valley trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth inning when Montrose took advantage of several Devils errors. The Indians scored five runs in the frame to take a 7-1 lead. Eagle Valley answered with three runs in the top of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.

“Montrose played in a pre-season scrimmage last weekend ” they got 16 innings in on Saturday,” Eagle Valley coach Bill Beasley said. “We couldn’t find a scrimmage. We didn’t really know what we had for sure. To be honest, I was impressed. We have some athletes out there.”

Despite the loss, there were a number of encouraging signs for the Devils. The offense racked up 11 hits in the game behind its slap-hitting approach. Unfortunately for Eagle Valley, the Devils couldn’t get the big hit, leaving 12 runners stranded.

“The small-ball worked to our advantage today,” Beasley said. “(The 11 hits) is pretty impressive, but we had 12 girls left on the bases. We had our opportunities, we couldn’t get the hits when we needed it. We need to work on putting the ball in play a little more.”

Rachel Landin and Alexis Ellsworth led the offense with three hits each. Emily Kingston added a pair of hits for the Devils.

Eagle Valley starting pitcher Narci Huffman pitched well enough to get the win. The senior pitched six innings and allowed only two earned runs. She struck out seven Montrose batters.

“Narci threw a great game for her first time out,” Beasley said. “She just throws strikes, she throws it right down the pipe. She has good movement on her fastball and she knows how to spot her fastball.”

The Devils are back in action on Friday at Durango. On Saturday, Eagle Valley travels to Cortez.

Sports writer Ian Smith can be reach at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.

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