Montrose qualifies for state softball tournament
The Montrose High School softball team qualified for state, but Palisade fell one win short.
Montrose qualified for the Class 4A state tournament for the first time since 2007.
The Indians (12-10) rebounded from a loss in their first game to Widefield and defeated the Gladiators 6-5 to qualify for state.
“This is a big milestone for us to win two games in regionals on the Eastern Slope,” Montrose coach Joe Bollinger said. “It’s pretty exciting for the program.”
Widefield (13-9) defeated Montrose 11-0 in the first game, but the Indians let the loss go, bouncing back to defeat Air Academy 7-0.
Montrose scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back. Vanessa Nelson had a bases-loaded, three-run double.
The Indians jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on Widefield in the rematch, but the Gladiators rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the fourth. Montrose scored three runs in the fifth on Hannah Etchart’s three-run double to take a 6-4 lead and held on.
Laura Ammermann picked up the win in relief of Ashley Long.
Long was the winning pitcher against Air Academy.
Palisade (14-8) came out strong, scoring five runs in the first inning of its first game against Mesa Ridge, but the Grizzlies came back to win 12-6.
The Bulldogs came back to defeat Palmer Ridge 7-6 on Angela Gordon’s RBI single to score Emily Crow in the bottom of the seventh and get a rematch with Mesa Ridge.
Palisade lost shortstop Tiffany Wells to an injury in the victory, forcing the Bulldogs players to change defensive positions.
The Grizzlies were able to take advantage of some Palisade errors to win 15-5. Mesa Ridge (14-8) advance to state with Pueblo East out of Region 4.
Montezuma-Cortez was eliminated. The Panthers lost to Wheat Ridge and Fort Lupton.
The move down to 3A paid off for Rifle.
The Bears (8-11) defeated Gunnison 11-6 to qualify for state.
Rifle scored seven runs in the second inning and held on for the victory led by its four seniors, Courtney Codova, Vanessa Herrera, Shantel Leyba and Chanler May.
“I told the girls to trust themselves,” Rifle coach Cindy Skinner said. “They worked hard this season.”
The Bears qualified with Western Slope League champion Basalt. The Longhorns rallied to defeat Grand Valley 9-6 in the other District 5 game.
Rifle and Basalt did not play for the district title because both teams have already earned state berths.