Pyle, Bears able to hold on against Longhorns
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colordao ” Rifle jumped out to an early 6-0 lead through two innings and held on for the 9-7 win against Basalt on Saturday morning.
Behind leadoff hitter Makayla Wilkins and third baseman Kelsey Pyle who had a two-run homer in the first, the Bears outhit the Longhorns eight to five. Wilkins finished 2-for-4 with an RBI-single. Pyle finished the day 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
From the first crack of the bat provided by Wilkins, it was clear it would be the Bears’ day. Wilkins hit a fly ball to center which was subsequently dropped by Basalt’s center-fielder, leaving Wilkins standing on second. An ensuing wild pitch and shortstop error on a ground ball hit by Dannan Dueitt scored Wilkins and left Dueitt on first. After stealing second base, Dueitt scored on an RBI-double from Alisha Rodebaugh who finished 2-for-3. Then, Pyle made it 4-0, crushing a pitch over the left-centerfield wall.
The Bears tacked on two additional runs in the second inning when Pyle hit a two-out, bases-loaded single. From there, Rifle would never look back.
Kacey Caron pitched 61⁄3 innings for the Bears, allowing only three earned runs on four hits while walking seven and striking out two. The walks were the lone weakness in Caron’s effort, Saturday.
The Longhorns took advantage of the first of Caron’s free-passes in the third as they put the first two batters on via hit-by-pitch and a walk, leading to three runs after a combination of wild pitches, stolen bases and a RBI-single.
Rifle answered Basalt’s three-run inning with one of their own in the bottom half of the fifth as they put runners on second and third with nobody out before left-fielder Samantha Young drove home two with a single. Wilkins made it 9-4 with a RBI-single of her own two batters later.
The Bears held the five-run advantage entering the final frame when a tiring Caron struggled with her command, ultimately watching the first three Longhorn batters reach to load the bases with none out. The following batter hit what should’ve been a mere sacrifice fly to center, the play instead turned into a bases clearing, three-run disaster. Caron then exited giving way to Rodebaugh.
Rodebaugh need just eight pitches to retire the final two outs of the game and hold on for Rifle’s 9-7 win.
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After losing the 3A Western Slope League race in a tough, five-set loss to Basalt on April 15, the Coal Ridge High volleyball team finds its playoff fate partly out of its own hands.