Softball: Devils walk away a winner in Rifle
RIFLE — A season of learning continued on Tuesday for the Rifle and Eagle Valley High School softball teams at Deerfield Park.
The Devils, however, were the ones who made the most of their opponent’s mistakes. Regan Bossow scored four runs — two of them coming on wild pitches — and Eagle Valley earned a 16-9 Class 4A Western Slope League win over the Bears for their second victory of the season.
Rifle (1-11 overall, 0-3 WSL) did its fair share of taking advantage of Eagle Valley’s mistakes also. The Bears used a pair of four-run innings to keep things close, with their four-run frame in the bottom of the second inning pulling them within 7-4. The Devils managed to keep their distance, however, with their three-run sixth inning giving them a 16-8 lead and pulling them within two runs of winning by the 10-run mercy rule.
Antonia Booth, Katie Barner, Peyton Caldwell, Mackyla Parsons and Jessyca Gates each had base hits for the Bears. Booth’s hit was the biggest, with her two-run, bases-loaded single highlighting a four-run fourth inning that pulled Rifle to within 12-8.
The Bears, however, have had difficulty pitching this season. Eagle Valley (2-8, 2-1) drew 13 walks and reached base six times when they were hit by a pitch.
Leading the Devils on offense was Ali Sands, who finished 2-for-3 batting with two runs scored.
Nicole Matthews scored three runs and had an RBI, and Kelsey Baldwin had an RBI double as part of the Devils’ three-run fourth inning.
That’s when the Bears — who also draw players from Coal Ridge and Grand Valley high schools — mounted a comeback in the bottom half of the frame.
Barner was hit by a pitch to lead off the Bears’ half of the inning, Payton Phillips walked and Melissa Steinbach reached on an infield error to load the bases. Up came Booth, who lined a shot into the left-centerfield gap to drive home Barner and Phillips. Allie Magee drove in the Bears’ next run on a groundout, and Eagle Valley’s Katie Laidman made a great running catch of Peyton Caldwell’s sinking liner to right field that resulted in a sacrifice fly and pulled Rifle within four runs.
The Bears came no closer, though, and the Devils scored four more runs off Magee, the relief pitcher, to put the game out of reach.
Cody Osteen went the distance on the pitching rubber for Eagle Valley.
Rifle continues its schedule with a nonleague game at Cedaredge on Friday. Eagle Valley will play a nonleague doubleheader at Aspen on Thursday.
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Montrose will pose a tough challenge for the Demons to win their home tournament. “They’re a team that every year has a well-disciplined program that executes, plays hard and is well-coached,” Glenwood coach Fred Heisel said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.” Game time is 2:30 p.m. at Spencer-Chavez Gymnasium at GSHS.