Eagle Valley makes strides against Basalt
GYPSUM — Eagle Valley softball is a work in progress, but there were really tangible signs of growth in Wednesday’s 16-6 loss to Basalt at the Gypsum Town Sports Complex.
Basalt, a team that made the 3A state playoffs last year and is off to an 8-4 start this fall, thumped the Devils, 15-1, in the season opener back in August.
“I think we’ve worked very hard this season because they were our first game,” Devils centerfielder Katie Laidman said. “We’ve just put in a lot of work, and it shows.”
While the wins aren’t coming in bunches — yet — the Devils’ offense has been waking up, enabling them to be competitive against teams like Montrose and Durango last weekend in a tournament in Delta.
Against the visiting Longhorns, the Devils got a quick run in the first when Cody Osteen got to first on a bunt, stole second and was brought home by a crisp Allie Sands single.
Eagle Valley got within 8-4 with a three spot in the third. Morgan Genelin plated Kylie King and Regan Bossow with a single, and Laidman added an RBI.
Basalt broke the game open with a five-run fourth. While the Longhorns’ win was well deserved, Eagle Valley is still struggling with some aspects of defense and base running.
“We’re out here for practice two-and-a-half hours per day and on Saturdays,” Devils skipper Katie Hirschfelder said. “It’s a lot of fundamental building. A lot of these kids have only played for a couple of years. We work on a lot of fundamentals and putting them in game situations is a little bit scary. We’re going to keep working hard.”
The ladies are also working hard off the field. On Friday, before the team’s game against Palisade in Gypsum, the Devils will be hosting softball players from local youth programs and elementary schools.
And mark your calendars — literally — for Oct. 4 for a pair of games against Cedaredge. The team has put together a calendar and they’ll be on sale that day with players on hand to autograph them.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.