Vail Valley preps: Devils’ rally falls short against Rifle
GYPSUM – Eagle Valley’s softball team had one of those night where almost everything went right. Then it didn’t for a bit, then it did again.
The Lady Devils dominated the first four innings, leading Rifle, 11-1, after four and it looked like Eagle Valley would roll to a Homecoming win Tuesday.
Then the fifth inning happened. Rifle found where it had mislaid its bats, the Lady Devils hurt their own cause with a few ill-timed errors and finally lost 17-15. Rifle scored 13 runs in that fifth.
“They played hard, we pitched well and we hit the ball well,” said Eagle Valley coach Bill Beasley. “Rifle was down and the battled back. You have to give them credit.”
Eagle Valley catcher Megan Osteen hit Rifle with everything but a lawsuit. Osteen was 5-for-5 at the plate with four RBI, pounding out two triples, two doubles and a single.
Alexis Ellsworth was 4-for-4.
Nicole Harvey and Amanda Morgan shared the pitching duties. Harvey went most of the way with Morgan pitching an inning of relief.
“We only gave up four bases on balls, and that’s a solid performance,” Beasley said. “Nicole threw a great game.”
Eagle Valley jumped out to a 2-1 lead after two innings. Osteen drilled one of her two triples to drive them home.
The Lady Devils stretched it to 5-1 after three. Third baseman Ally Zehring snared a line drive and gunned down the Rifle runner off first for the double play. Harvey struck out the next Rifle batter and Eagle Valley held Rifle scoreless again.
With an 8-1 lead after four and an 11-1 lead after five, the Lady Devils were rolling. Jacyne Bowers stole home for that 11th Eagle Valley run.
But there was that fifth inning. Rifle reeled off 13 runs to take a 14-11 lead and never trailed again. The Bears scored one in the sixth and two more in the top of the seventh.
Eagle Valley pulled to within one in the bottom of the fifth.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Eagle Valley mounted a courageous two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Amanda Morgan scored from first on a line shot deep to the outfield and the Lady Devils had runners at first and third when the Rifle pitcher reached back to nail one of her only strikeouts of the game.