Cedaredge falls to Eaton in 3A state softball tourney
AURORA — From six wins last season to the Class 3A state tournament this year, the Cedaredge High School softball team has come a long way in a couple of years.
Just making it to the 12-team state tourney was a big accomplishment for the team, which bowed out in the first round Saturday with a 6-0 loss to fifth-seeded Eaton.
“Our first goal was to make it to regionals,” Bruins senior Jazmine Gomez said. “We came together in two years.”
The Bruins battled the Reds through the first few innings and had a chance to take the lead in the second inning when they loaded the bases with two outs, but a strikeout ended the rally.
Eaton then took control of the game in the bottom of the third inning. A couple of hit batters by Cedaredge pitcher Marissa Cantrell set the table for McLayne Hager, who hit a two-run double to stake the Reds to a 2-0 lead.
Eaton tacked on another run in the fourth inning, then gave itself some breathing room with a three-run sixth.
Meanwhile, the Bruins got only two base runners against Eaton pitcher Morgan Karlberg in the final four innings.
Cedaredge coach Matt Hall said a strong finish to last season set the tone for this year.
“They didn’t start over. They built from last year,” Hall said, adding, “They worked together as a family.”
That’s big, he said, considering the team draws not only from Cedaredge but from Hotchkiss and Paonia, schools that until a couple of years ago played on Delta’s team.
“For three schools that are rivals in anything else, that’s saying something,” Hall said of their ability to come together.
To be able to compete with teams at the state level, “That says a lot not just about our program but the Western Slope,” he said.
Gomez said the players bonded really well, and making it to state was a high point, despite the loss.
“It’s a very overwhelming, happy moment,” she said.