Grand Mesa Major girls top Fruita
Grand Mesa Major girls coach Kevin Rubalcaba knew his softball team would face a challenge in Wednesday’s 7-5 win over Fruita in the District 1 Little League tournament .
Tuesday, Fruita scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Orchard Mesa, and pushed it to the wire again Wednesday by getting the tying run in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
“With Fruita, they never make it easy on you,” Rubalcaba said. “We just told our girls to go out and relax and play their style of game.”
With the threat of Fruita’s comeback potential in the sixth inning, Grand Mesa pitcher Jordyn Hays focused on the plate and struck out leadoff hitter Shania Marchun. Lauren Reed walked and ShaRae Dorscher got to second base after Jordyn Hays made a bad throw to first on a ground ball.
After an infield fly out, Olivia Bratt walked on four pitches to load the bases.
Hays finished the game with a nine-pitch duel against Hannah Thornburg, which ended when Thornburg grounded out to third base.
“I just told myself to keep my head up and I told myself I could do it, so I did it,” Hays said. “I was just focused on what I needed to do (to get out of the inning.)”
Grand Mesa scored in the top of the first inning when two throwing errors allowed Callie Rubalcaba to score.
Fruita tied it up in the bottom of the first inning and took the lead when Bratt hit a three-run inside the park home run over the head of left fielder Marissa Renova.
Grand Mesa responded in the next half inning with a four-run rally consisting of five singles, a walk, and a dropped ball in the outfield.
Callie Rubalcaba, Sierra Batchelor and Megan Rubalcaba started the rally with singles, then Cassie Rubalcaba scored Callie with a hit to center field that was dropped. Kalene Borrego and Misty Roberts also drove in a run in the inning.
“Up and down the lineup, everybody did something different to contribute to the win, and that’s the attitude that they’re taking — that there is no super star on the team, ” Kevin Rubalcaba said. “Everybody has to step up and when it’s their time, take advantage of it, and that’s exactly what they did.”
Grand Mesa scored two more in the top of the fifth inning and allowed a single run in the bottom of the fifth.
Grand Mesa will play in the potential championship game of the double-elimination tournament Friday.
Fruita has a rematch against Orchard Mesa at 5:30 p.m. today to determine who will play Grand Mesa on Friday.
Fruita 24, Orchard Mesa 18: Wednesday’s elimination game between Fruita and Orchard Mesa lasted a bit longer than planned for.
In seven innings, the two teams combined for 42 runs. Fruita had nine-run innings in both the fourth and sixth innings, and Orchard Mesa scored eight runs in the fourth.
The game lasted four hours.
With no lights at the tournament, the 5:30 p.m. game between Palisade and Grand Mesa was postponed until 5:30 p.m. today and the rest of the tournament’s schedule is being pushed back one day.