Central softball team shows might in final
The Central High School softball team wasn’t just seeking to win the Southwestern League title when the Warriors closed out their regular season Saturday against Montezuma-Cortez.
Central wanted to give itself an excellent chance of hosting one of the Class 5A district tournaments this Saturday.
Now it’s in the Colorado High School Activities Association softball committee’s hands.
The Warriors (17-2, 10-0 SWL) did their part, sweeping Cortez in a doubleheader at Kronkright Complex.
“That was our first goal, to win league and go undefeated,” Central coach Sabrina Juarez said.
As usual, Central did it convincingly, defeating the Panthers 12-0 and 22-0.
After giving up no hits in a doubleheader against Durango on Friday, the Warriors nearly matched that on Saturday. Katie Lee’s third-inning single in the third inning of the second game was the only hit Cortez could muster all day.
Ashley Goletz, who held Durango hitless Friday, did the same to the Panthers on Saturday morning, her only mistakes coming on one walk and two hit batters.
Mikayla Duffy, who matched Goletz’s effort Friday by blanking Durango on no hits, nearly had her second of the weekend until Lee’s ground ball in the third broke up her no-no.
Meanwhile, the Central bats were typically potent. The Warriors had 10 hits in the first game, half going for extra bases — including Rachel Romine’s first-inning, two-run home run.
Romine matched that in the second game with a another two-run, first-inning shot.
Her sister, Jessica, went one better in the second game, getting a double, a triple and a three-run home run as part of a nine-run fourth inning. It was the first fence-clearing home run for Jessica, a sophomore, in her two years on varsity.
“Me and (Coach Juarez) had a bet at the beginning of the season (that) I would hit one out,” Jessica said.
It came in her last at-bat of the regular season.
“It was sweet,” she said.
Whittney Stone had six hits on the day, including going 4 for 5 in the second game.
“Whittney was on fire today in both games,” Juarez said.
A double in the first inning of the opener set the tone.
“How you start out the day, with that first hit, tells you, I feel good about myself,” Stone said.
The 5A district brackets will be released this afternoon by CHSAA. Now it’s a 24-hour waiting game for Central.
GRAND JUNCTION 20-6, DURANGO 7-2
The Tigers (15-5, 6-4) closed out the regular season with their fifth consecutive victory after sweeping the Demons at Kronkright Complex.
Elena Arrieta was the winning pitcher in both games, though she got three innings of relief from freshman Briana Maston in the second game.
Paula Lage had a three-run home run in the first inning of the first game and the only extra-base hit in the second game for Grand Junction.