Bears split softball twin bill with Durango
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
RIFLE, Colorado – While doing a little postgame running along the outfield fence, a Rifle softball player fell behind the pack. Not wanting to leave anyone behind, the rest of the team went back and ran the remaining distance with her.
“We don’t want anybody to feel left out,” Bears junior shortstop Emma Speer said.
Togetherness, as the postgame show of unity suggests, is very much ingrained in the fiber of this year’s Rifle softball squad.
“They’ve been doing a lot of stuff like that,” Bears coach Cindy Skinner said. “It’s really neat.”
And it’s helping Rifle on the diamond, where the Bears won three of four games over the weekend.
On Friday, Rifle swept a doubleheader from visiting Montezuma-Cortez by counts of 9-8 and 24-3. The Bears returned to their home field Saturday and split a twin bill with Durango, bouncing back from a 7-0 loss in the opener to win the second game, 11-8.
Durango’s Alexys Vidunas pitched a complete-game gem in the opener, surrendering just four hits and striking out 12.
“She’s a real competitor,” Demons coach John Bernazzani said. “She’s really a gamer. She had a great game.”
Vidunas entered in relief of starter Augusta Brockus in the second game, pitching four innings and keeping Durango within striking distance as her team mounted a late rally that closed the gap from 11-3 to 11-8 by game’s end.
Cindy Kobrin homered and drove in three runs and Mercedes Lashway, Mikayla Jeffryes and Kobrin had doubles as part of an 11-hit outburst for the Demons in Game 1. Mary Wright paced Rifle with three hits.
Speer belted a home run and drove in three runs and Cortnie Blazon had two RBIs as the Bears built a big lead in the nightcap and held on. Brittany Neuroth added three hits at the plate, as did Speer and Emily Neuroth. Cheyenne Roark had two hits.
Taylor Gore, who pitched all four of Rifle’s weekend games, finished off Saturday by striking out three in the bottom of the seventh inning to seal the win. The final out came with the tying run at the plate.
Knowing her team had her back helped Gore power through the back-to-back twin bills.
“I just think that my team is there for me,” she said. “They’re always going to help me out. I’ve got to remember to stay strong. I don’t know how I always do it, but somehow it works and it’s definitely because the team is there.”
Kobrin’s three hits – two of which were doubles – and three RBIs led Durango offensively. Lashway also had three knocks.
Although they fell behind early, the Demons weren’t about to go quietly in that game 2 defeat.
“When we got in the dugout, we said, ‘Look, we’ve got to pick it up. We have to work as a team,'” Brockus relayed. “That really boosted everyone’s self-confidence.”
Durango, which won a pair of games at Eagle Valley on Friday, moved to 3-9 overall. The Demons host Basalt at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Rifle, now 7-4-1 overall, will host 4A Western Slope League foe Delta at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
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