Eagle Valley softball splits
CASTLE ROCK – Some losses almost seem like a win.So was the case for the Eagle Valley softball team Friday afternoon.In the first game of two tournament games in Douglas County, Eagle Valley fell, 2-1, to No. 1-ranked 4A team, Pueblo West. “I’m very happy with the team,” said coach Bill Beasley. “When you take the No. 1 team in the state down to the last inning and have a chance to win it, that’s good. They gave it their best and that’s all you have to ask for.”Eagle Valley took the first lead of the game when Kayla Phillips landed a hit that brought home Chelsey Lueders. That was the only run the team was able to muster against the Pueblo pitcher, whom Beasley calls “one of the best in the state.” On the defensive side, the Devils used good pitching and fielding to keep the game within reach.”Chelsey threw an excellent game,” Beasley said. “We covered the bunt well, Amy Strakbein had a good game and Emily LyBarger had a couple of nice catches in the outfield.”Pueblo scored two runs in the third inning to take the lead, and was able to hold off Eagle Valley for the rest of the game.In the second game, Eagle Valley dominated Palmer, 9-2.”(Palmer’s) pitching wasn’t as hard as Pueblo’s, which was to our advantage,” Beasley said. “Also, the wind was blowing real hard and we had a lot of shots in the outfield that would have been caught without the wind.”These two factors, plus some hot bats, allowed the flood gates to open for the Devils offense. LyBarger went 3-for-4, scoring three runs; Lueders had two sacrifices and scored a run; Danielle Cavanaugh went 2-for-2, scoring two runs; and Lauren Prewitt went 1-for-2, scoring two runs.Lueders pitched another great game for the Devils, and received support from the other eight.”Defensively we were at our peak,” Beasley said. “Morgan Strakbein had some great plays at shortstop, Danielle had a good defensive game, and Kayla pounced on a couple of bunts the other team had and threw them out.”Saturday, the Devils are back on the field with three tournament games.Cedaredge challenges Devils and SaintsCEDAREDGE – An easy front nine and a tough back nine called for some course management Friday at the Deer Creek Village Gold Club.Some were able to manage the course, while others had trouble.Ethan Smith of Eagle Valley had a breakout performance, holding the course in check with an 83.”We’ve been coaching course management, and he really took it to heart on this course,” said Eagle Valley coach Glen Ewing. “When I was watching him make his club selections, I couldn’t have changed anything. He chose accurate clubs instead of distance clubs.”Like many mountain resort courses, Cedaredge requires accurate shots to par holes.”The fairways are so narrow and everything slopes toward the mountain,” said Battle Mountain coach Cassie Desmone.For the Huskies, Derek Rush continued his consistent play, shooting a 79.”He managed his way through a lot of tricky holes,” Desmone said.Rounding out the scores for the Huskies were Matt Berry, 89, Clay Wilson, 91, John Ryan Melzer, 92 and Zach Dominico, 97.”Matt shed off a few strokes, and it’s an improvement from John Ryan’s 110 (Thursday),” Desmone said. “Overall, I was happy.”For the Devils, Zach Coe shot a 90, and Brian Matthews shot a 93. Coe recovered from shooting sevens on the first two holes, while Matthews continues to improve his play.”He’s got a lot of promise,” Ewing said. “He’s one more of the athletic freshman we have.”Eagle Valley will have to choose between seven or eight of its top players to bring to regionals next week.”It’s going to be difficult to choose a regional team,” Ewing said. “Fortunately, we’re playing (regionals) at Yampa Valley, which is the second-or-third easiest course we play.”Battle Mountain will likely bring Mason Cullen, Clark Simmons, Rush, Wilson, and Dominico to regionals.”They know they have a chance, and they are all fired up,” said Desmone.Saints spikers fall in threeGLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Saints are almost there.Installing a new offense takes a while, and coach Cathy Alexander understands this.Still, she was excited to see the seeds of success for 1A Vail Christian Friday against a 5A school Grand Junction Central. After falling 25-13 in the first game, Vail Christian came back to win the second game 25-23, but faltered late in the third game, losing 25-15.”I have to say I was very pleased with the way we played,” said Alexander. “Everyone played extremely hard, and they were very consistent.”In the third game, the Saints trailed 16-13, but a Grand Junction player went to work on the Saints, serving eight points in a row.”When you change your offense, there will be a transition period and you’ll have some rough spots,” Alexander said. “I was fairly impressed, for asking them to make a change in two weeks. It was a great job.”The Parker sisters played well, with Nicole providing key sets, and Jackie recording several kills. Molly Brooks and Nicole Parker teamed up for many double blocks in the second game.”It was back and forth all game, and we had no downturns,” said Alexander. “We only missed two serves in three games.”Today, the Saints will have more time to work on their offense as they square off against Roaring Fork and Denver Christian.Sports writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado
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