Tigers scratch past Devils
Sophomore Caitlin Schmidt came into the game to pitch in the fourth inning with a 6-0 lead and shut down the Devils, giving up three hits in four innings and striking out the side in the seventh. Senior Kelsey Hodson pitched the first three at the Eagle County Fairgrounds, holding the Devils scoreless.
“(Caitlin’s) going to be our starter next year,” Tigers coach Shelly Koehler said. “We played really well. Our strong point all season’s been our defense and our aggressiveness on the bases. We saw that today.”
The scoring for the Tigers started in the second, when Megan Skulski doubled to drive in two runs off Devils ace Sara LyBarger. Skulski eventually scored to make the score 3-0.
In the third, Summit extended its lead when Shannon Buhler scored on a fielding error by the Devils. Britt Ellsworth singled in Heather Kanski, and later scored on a single to right field by Macaela Holmes. Soon enough, it was 6-0.
Eagle Valley threatened in the bottom of the fourth, putting two runners on with walks. Summit clamped down, throwing out both Brianna Ehlert and Cathryn Reynolds at close plays at the plate to end the threat.
In the sixth, Schmidt loaded the bases by allowing singles by Reynolds and Morgan Strakbein and a walk to Ehlert. But the sophomore buckled down and got an inning-ending groundout.
“It was one of those games where we couldn’t get the hit we needed to score somebody,” Eagle Valley coach Brad Stiles said.
Schmidt finished off the Devils, 6-11 overall, in the final inning by striking out three and walking one. It was Summit’s first shutout of the season.
The win evens up Summit’s record to 8-8 overall on the season. The Tigers, the sixth seed in the 4A Jeffco League, will face the fourth seed from the 4A South Central League Saturday in the first round of districts.
The Devils, who finished off Aspen earlier this week to complete a 4-0 conference season, will have a bye in the first round and play the winner of the Aspen/Gunnison game Saturday morning.
“It’s a game we have to win,” Stiles said. “If we don’t, the season’s over.”