Rifle softball team improving as the season wears on | PostIndependent.com

Rifle softball team improving as the season wears on

Phil Sandoval
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – The gap to Rifle’s becoming a well-rounded softball team is narrowing.

“Every day is an improvement because we get to learn things,” head coach Cindy Skinner said of her Bears, who have improved drastically from opening day three weeks ago to this weekend’s 2-1 win-loss record at the Peach Fuzz Tournament.

“We improved on some things,” the coach said. “But there are some things we need to go back and work on too.”

Hitting the ball was no problem for the Bears.

As a team, Rifle (4-2) socked out 11 hits in a 15-0, mercy-rule win over Montezuma-Cortez Friday and smashed seven base hits to earn a 9-5 victory against Durango Saturday.

The only blemish came against Class 5A Grand Junction in Saturday’s early game, when Tigers freshman Arrianna Diaz tossed a 4-0 no-hitter on the Bears.

Despite the one blip, Skinner likes the way the team’s progressing.

“I’m real pleased the way the girls hit the ball. They’re picking up the ball,” she said. “Overall, they’re being aggressive and they’re going after it.”

In both of Rifle’s wins, the team’s batting prowess allowed the Bears to take early leads.

Run-scoring singles from Cami Castillo in the first and Natasha Ehlers the next inning each sparked two-run rallies against Cortez.

Ahead 4-0, the Bears broke the game open in the third when they scored nine times.

Alisha Rodebaugh delivered the knockout blow when she doubled home a pair of runs in her second at-bat of the inning.

The junior pitcher was equally effective on the defensive end.

Rodebaugh held Cortez to two hits, each in different innings, while striking out nine.

Against Durango, Rifle took a 5-0 lead on the Demons in the top half of the first inning on RBI singles by Rodebaugh and Vanessa Herrera that were sandwiched between a pair of bases-loaded wild pitches.

Durango cut the lead down to 5-3 in the bottom of the frame, but failed to move any closer from that point on.

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