Bulldogs top Rifle in softball
Kendra Barnes knew all she had to do was hit the ball and get on base.
With her Palisade High School softball teammate, Regan Van Noy, on third base, Barnes needed to put the ball in play to get the winning run home.
“I was looking for a line drive,” Barnes said, hoping a shot to the outfield would be enough to allow Van Noy to waltz home in the eighth inning Thursday against Rifle at Bergman Field.
They both did their jobs, as Barnes’ base hit to center scored Van Noy for a 5-4 victory for the Bulldogs at Walker Field.
Barnes and Van Noy combined for the winning run, but Shelby Hanson put the Bulldogs (9-5-1, 2-2 Western Slope League) in position for the come-from-behind victory.
Actually, Hanson, who was on the mound for Palisade, helped Rifle take the lead. Struggling to find her control early, Barnes walked three batters in top of the first inning. Her pitching counterpart, Alisha Rodebaugh, took advantage, helping her own cause with a bases-loaded triple to give the Bears to a 3-0 lead.
It was feast or famine for Hanson, who walked six batters and forced in Rifle’s fourth run on a bases-loaded hit batsman. By the same token, she struck out 15 batters.
“It was all or nothing,” Hanson said. “It think it was trying to find a rhythm.”
That actually improved with her at-bats. Hanson hit a leadoff triple in the fifth inning, leading to Palisade’s first run.
With the Bulldogs trailing 4-2 in the sixth, the right hander hit a two-out, opposite-field home run to tie the game.
“I just felt it was my time to get a hit and help the team,” Hanson said.
With two outs in the eighth, Van Noy laced a 1-0 pitch down the first-base line. It rolled into the corner for a triple.
“I was just trying to get it in play,” said Van Noy, who was forced to sit out the first half of the season after transferring from Central before the school year.
“It’s really awesome,” she said of being able to contribute to her new team’s victory.
Rodebaugh gave up 10 hits and struck out 11.
“This is huge for us,” Palisade coach John Vanlandingham said of coming back from a four-run deficit.
Battle Mountain scored four goals in the first half and shut down Palisade in the second half as the Huskies won 10-1 in Edwards.
Ubaldo Trujillo scored three goals for Battle Mountain.
The lone goal for Palisade (1-8-1, 0-7-1 WSL) came from Dalton Northrop in the first half.
For the second consecutive match, Grand Junction won the first game but lost the next three, as Prairie View defeated the Tigers 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21 in a nonleague match at Henderson.
It was the fifth consecutive loss for Grand Junction (5-7), which heads to Colorado Springs for nonleague matches tonight against Palmer and Saturday against Coronado.