Early lead lifts Indians to victory over Bulldogs in softball

Palisade High School’s softball team couldn’t recover from a slow start Saturday and fell to a speedy Montrose team 17-7 at Palisade.

Montrose (7-5) took a 9-0 lead in the first three innings and had 10 stolen bases in the game.

“These guys never quit and never backed down,” Palisade coach Nicole Zuniga said. “We made all the routine plays defensively against a very good-hitting Montrose team.”

Palisade (5-10) struggled to string scoring innings together and had trouble hitting with runners in scoring position.

Montrose chased starting pitcher Shelby Rubalcaba early.

Rubalcaba gave up seven earned runs on six hits in 21⁄3 innings, striking out six and walking three.

Palisade scored its first run in the bottom of the third on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice. After holding Montrose scoreless in the top of the fourth, Palisade put up another run.

Sierra Clark turned on a first-pitch fastball and sent it over the right-field fence. The next three Bulldog hitters went down in order, ending the inning.

Palisade continued to stifle the Indians’ offense in the top of the fifth with a double play and strikeout.

The Bulldog offense rallied to close the gap in the bottom of the inning. Left fielder Trenna Morgan had an RBI single and Clark hit a two-run triple to the fence to cut the lead to 9-4.

Montrose scored one run in the top half of the sixth and Palisade responded with two in the bottom half on an RBI single from Jenna Lucas and an RBI groundout from Katie Rupe.

Montrose blew the game open in the top of the seventh, scoring seven runs.

Clark led the Bulldogs’ offense, going 2 for 4 with a triple and a home run, driving in three runs.

“We went up and hit the ball against a really good pitcher,” Clark said. “That helps our confidence.”

Rupe pitched 42⁄3 innings in relief, giving up 10 earned runs on eight hits, striking out four and walking six.

“We did a decent job stopping Montrose,” Rupe said. “We just needed more intensity and more talking.”


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