McWilliams leads Bears over Indians |

McWilliams leads Bears over Indians

Mike VidakovichGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE – The Rifle girls softball team used a solid performance on the mound and at the plate from senior Megan McWilliams to defeat the visiting Montrose Indians 17-4 on Saturday afternoon at the Deerfield Park Sports Complex.McWilliams ended the game in fine fashion with an inside-the-park home run that cleared the bases and accounted for the final tally on the scoreboard, and her pitching kept the visitors at bay for most of the contest.It was only some first inning miscues that had the Bears on edge at the start.

Following a couple of Rifle fielding errors, Montrose senior Nicky Woodbury singled to right field giving the Indians a 2-0 advantage.McWilliams managed to stay calm and got the Bears out of the first-inning jam by throwing a nice change-up, which struck out Montrose’s Becca Bollinger and gave the home team its first chance to bat.Rifle’s first two hitters, Alissa Skinner and Chelsea Webb, both reached base and ended up scoring on consecutive Montrose errors. McWilliams then hit up the middle for a single, which was followed by more Montrose fielding and throwing mistakes, allowing Rifle to bat through its order and take a 5-2 lead.McWilliams settled into a groove on the hill and made quick work of the Indians in the second inning, going three batters and out.

With two runners on base in Rifle’s turn at bat, senior Marissa Wilkins came up big by driving a one-out pitch into center field to make the score 7-2. Kelsey Pyle also stroked a single in the inning, and the home crowd was enjoying an 8-2 advantage into the middle innings.As the Rifle bats were beginning to heat up, so was the defense.A nifty third-inning double play by Pyle, Wilkins and first baseman Tori Fazzi took the wind out of the Montrose sails, and when McWilliams blasted a double to center field scoring Skinner and Amber Odekirk, the score was 10-2, and the Bears were on solid ground.Montrose tried to stem the tide by bringing in junior pitcher Autumn Haynes. The move was to no avail as she promptly walked Pyle, Samantha Young, and Fazzi to start the fourth inning. Skinner then singled to left field, driving in a run and effectively setting the stage for McWilliams’ sixth-inning heroics.

Rifle head coach Cindy Skinner was happy with the way her team played in raising its record to 7-4 for the season.She was especially pleased with her seniors.”I couldn’t be happier for these kids,” the coach said. “My seniors (Tamara Kaczmarek, McWilliams, Skinner, Webb and Wilkins) have all really come through.”The Bears’ next action on the diamond will be on Thursday when they travel to Delta for a neutral field encounter with the Cortez Panthers.

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