Rifle High School's softball team did its best to climb its way out of a hole against Palisade on Tuesday. By the fourth inning, that proverbial hole became too large.
Behind a big performance from Danice DeLahoz, Palisade used a big fourth frame to pull away from Rifle for a 12-3 Class 4A Western Slope League victory at Deerfield Park. The Bears, who were eliminated from postseason contention with a 5-2 loss to Eagle Valley on Sept. 25, fell to 9-8-1 overall and 3-3 in league play.
"We had a lot of chances where we had runners in scoring position where we didn't take advantage," Rifle coach Cindy Skinner said. "Now it's just a matter of taking that next step in the learning process."
Brittany Neuroth, Emma Speer, Melissa Steinbach, Emily Neuroth and Samantha Patterson each had hits for the Bears, who left eight runners on base and left the bases loaded in the first inning. Rifle wasn't able to push through against DeLahoz in the pitcher's circle, as she finished with eight strikeouts and four walks.
DeLahoz also paced Palisade's 16-hit attack, going 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles, three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Her two-run single in the fourth inning highlighted a five-run frame that put the Bulldogs up 8-1.
Though the postseason fate has already been determined for the Bears, Skinner is satisfied with her team's effort and wants them to finish strong in today's season finale at Basalt.
"Coach [Troy Phillips, the team's assistant coach] talked about that to the girls after the game," Skinner said. "He talked about them keeping their heads up and finishing strong, because that kind of attitude is something they can use in life down the road."
Rifle finishes 10th in boys golf state tournament
Triston Quigley managed a 27th-place finish individually to highlight the performances of the Rifle High boys golf team at the Class 4A State Championships at Cobble Creek Golf Course on Tuesday.
Quigley finished with a two-day score of 159 and shot a 5-over 77 in his final round and 159 for the tournament. Teammate Danny Bartels finished 33rd with a 161, and Ty Caron finished with a two-day score of 171.
The Bears had a team score of 491, just one stroke behind the ninth-place score of 490 posted by D'Evelyn. Pueblo South won the team title, winning a playoff hole against Valor Christian, after both teams finished the second round of 18 holes tied for first place. Josh McLaughlin of Thompson Valley won the individual state title, finishing with a two-day score of 3-under 141.
Bears fall to Aspen in volleyball
Rifle High School's volleyball team fell to 6-9 overall and 2-3 in Class 3A Western Slope League play with a four-game loss to Aspen on Tuesday.
The Skiers won 26-24, 26-28, 25-23, 25-22, improving to 4-10 and 1-4 in league play behind a match-high 24 assists from Sadie Alpern. Rifle has more than a week off before it will continue league play Oct. 11 at Roaring Fork.
Grand Valley falls to Moffat County in five
Moffat County withstood a furious comeback attempt from Grand Valley, winning in the fifth and final game of a 25-23, 25-18, 29-31, 21-25, 15-5 Class 3A Western Slope League win.
The Cardinals, who fell to 3-2 in league play and 6-7 overall, play a nonleague match at Delta today.
Summit tops Rifle in boys soccer
The Rifle Bears weren't able to recover from an early two-goal deficit in their 3-0 loss to Summit in Breckenridge on Tuesday.
Rifle, which was down 2-0 at halftime, fell to 2-7 overall and 1-7 in 4A Western Slope League play. The Bears will try to rebound when they play at Coal Ridge at 4 p.m. today.