Panthers outlast Devils in opener, control nightcap
GYPSUM – Accuracy counts for a lot in softball. Eagle Valley pitched and hit just as hard as Delta in a doubleheader Saturday in Gypsum, but the Panthers put the ball in all the right spots in 10-6 and 5-1 wins.”We hit the ball hard a lot, but most of the time it was at somebody,” said Eagle Valley coach Bill Beasley. “Our pitching was OK, but again, you get in that situation where you need to throw strikes and get ahead of the batter and get the outs. We’re struggling a bit with that.”The Devils came from behind twice in the opener, but Delta used a four-run sixth inning to break a 6-6 tie and hold the Devils scoreless in their final two at bats.Amy Thompson pitched the first four innings for the Devils, recovering from a rough first to put in three solid innings. Thompson finished with six strikeouts.Eagle Valley erased an early 3-0 deficit by scoring two runs in both the first and second inning. Devils catcher Jeanette Baker got things started in the first with a screaming double, followed by an RBI single by Thompson. Then, Elana Hernandez, who pitched the final three innings of the lidlifter, ripped an RBI double.
In the next inning, Kara Platt hit a gap single, and advanced to third on a throwing error off a pickoff attempt by the Delta catcher. Katie Jean Ewing hit into a fielder’s choice that brought home Platt. With two outs, the Delta pitcher hit Miranda Hicks, who then advanced to third on a Danielle Cavanaugh single. Hicks scored on a double steal, one of many plays in which Eagle Valley challenged the hard-throwing Delta catcher.”I had a couple plays to put on there, and it worked to our advantage. But, a few times we couldn’t get a hit to drive (in runners),” Beasley said.The Devils left players on base in the fifth and sixth innings.”Our heart of the order struggled a bit today,” Beasley said. “That’s why they are there – they need to produce.”Producers
Cavanaugh went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the opener. Aside from a costly error in the sixth inning, Cavanaugh was a force in the infield, snagging several sharp grounders for putouts.”That girl is an amazing player – she gets the job done,” Beasley said.Hernandez went 2-for-3, while Hicks scored twice.Freshman Rachel Landin led the Devils from the plate in the nightcap, going 3-for-4.”She hits the ball hard all the time,” Beasley said.Landin drove in the only run with a hit that followed a Platt triple in the fifth.
Both Hernandez and Thompson spilt time on the mound, with Thompson coming for the last four innings.Tuesday, Eagle Valley heads to Rifle for a makeup game.”We’ll get into the (batting) cage (Monday) and swing some bats,” Beasley said.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado
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