All-Star softball game pits teammates against each other
Andrea Rascon and Elena Arrietta are good friends, but Wednesday night, the Grand Junction High School softball players were rivals looking for the upper hand.
In the Western Slope All-Star Softball Classic at Bergman Field, Rascon won the battle, lacing a triple off of Arrietta in the third inning.
“I love Elena, she’s my best friend, but she had it coming to her,” Rascon said. “Once I hit it, I was going for as much as I could.”
Arrietta said she tired to strike her friend out, but gave her something too good to hit.
“I tried to pitch her stuff she couldn’t hit,” Arrietta said. “I put one right down the middle and she hit a triple off me, but it’s all good.”
Arrietta had the last laugh as her Red team defeated Rascon’s Blue team 7-3.
The two Tigers weren’t alone as high school teammates pitted against each other. The Red team had more Central players than the Blue team, which meant Blue team pitcher Ashley Goletz got to face most of her Warrior teammates.
“It’s fun because I had a lot of Central girls on my team, and they were like, ‘I don’t want to have to go against Ashley,’ ” Central coach Sabrina Juarez said. “They’re not used to hitting off their own pitchers, so it’s interesting to see their focus .”
Central had its top two pitchers, Goletz and Mikayla Duffy, split on the two teams. At the plate, it was a draw — each pitcher walked against the other.
“They want to be able to say they got a hit off of her,” said Juarez, who coached the Red team. “But Ashley wants to be able to say she struck them out, and she was throwing some heat, so I think she was trying to get them.”
The Classic was an opportunity for girls across the Western Slope to play with and against each other. The rosters featured 16 players from the Grand Valley, but Montezuma-Cortez’s Jenna Schaak made the trip to play in the game. Basalt’s Jamie Matherly hit .682 for the Longhorns last fall, but had the opportunity to pitch and hit against other talented players.
“It was a lot of fun to play with people who are really strong players,” Matherly said. “It was fun, but a little intimidating at times.”
The game went a full eight innings, with both teams’ pitching dominating late in the game.
Juarez said one of the best parts of the game was the effort from all the players.
“It was very competitive,” Juarez said. “Usually in all-star games you see some slacking off, but they put everything they had into it.”