Barnes lifts Bulldogs past Durango in softball

Kendra Barnes likes hitting the long ball if for no other reason than to save energy.

The Palisade High School softball player hit two solo home runs Saturday in the Bulldogs’ 5-3 win over Durango at Bergman Field.

“It’s nice hitting home runs because then I don’t have to sprint around the bases,” Barnes said jokingly. “I’m not swinging for the fences, I’m just looking to get a line drive.”

Just because Barnes isn’t swinging for the fences doesn’t mean she isn’t putting the ball over the fences. Through Palisade’s (5-3-1, 0-1 Western Slope League) first nine games, Barnes has hit nine home runs.

“Kendra hit the two home runs for us today, which lightens everyone up,”
Palisade coach John Vanlandingham said.

“Last night she went 2 for 3, and today 3 for 3, so she is hitting the ball well.”

Barnes’ second home run in the fifth inning provided a the Bulldogs with a two-run cushion after the Demons put together a rally in top of the inning.

Barnes laced a Shannon Ruetschle pitch over the left-field wall.

“It was staring to get tight there, then Kendra comes up and puts that one over,” Vanlandingham said. “That gave the girls a little more insurance and helped them to relax.”

Barnes’ first home run got the scoring started in the second inning. Shelby Hanson doubled and eventually came around to score, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.

Palisade added runs in the third and fourth when Emily Crow and Breanna Poundstone scored.

The five runs were all Crow needed. After allowing two runs and striking out 10 batters Friday night against Montezuma-Cortez, Crow turned in another strong performance against Durango. Crow struck out six batters, had no walks, and gave up four hits.

“Emily is an outstanding kid, she just goes in there an throws strikes,” Vanlandingham said. “She doesn’t walk a lot of people and is very consistent.”

Crow also helped her own cause, going 3 for 3 at the plate.

Palisade now enters a tough stretch of its season where it has seven WSL games to end the season, beginning Tuesday with Eagle Valley. Sitting at two games above .500, the Bulldogs are confident about making a run for the league title.

“We are hitting the ball really well right now,” Barnes said. “I think we are going to do very well and will be a tough team to beat.”

Fruita Monument 9, Gunnison 0: The Wildcats had a complete game from Kristina Pacheco to defeat Gunnison. Pacheco had nine strikeouts and allowed only one hit.

The Wildcats never had a big inning against the Cowboys, but scored at least one run in all six innings. Sophomore Hannah Englebrecht led the way with a solo home run in the sixth inning.

Fruita plays Central on Tuesday at Bergman Field.


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