Hayter’s big bat lifts Warriors past Tigers

Danielle Romine of Central avoids the initial tag but misses the plate and catcher Emma Taylor of GJ then tags her out.

It’s probably fitting — however politically incorrect it might be — that the Central High School softball team’s favorite bat is nicknamed ‘Roid.’

“I think (2008 Central graduate) Alaina (Brennan) named it,” the Warriors’ Karen Hayter said of the bat that’s been part of the team’s equipment for three years.

No matter who gave it the moniker, Hayter swung it like a maestro wielding a baton Thursday.

The senior right fielder blasted a third-inning, three-run home run, then added a run-scoring double to center field in the fifth to help Central defeat Grand Junction 9-3 at Bergman Field.

“I was just trying to go up there and hit,” Hayter said.

She did just that as the Warriors (11-2, 4-0 Southwestern League) maintained a one-game lead in the SWL race after Fruita Monument’s 3-2 victory at Montrose on Thursday.

The Warriors had struggled in the first three innings offensively in victories against the Tigers and Fruita Monument within the previous seven days.

“The last two games it took us a while to score,” Hayter said.

“Our goal this game was to score in the first inning,” Central coach Sabrina Juarez said.

They did. Three times, as a matter of fact, with Danielle Romine and Mikayla Duffy hitting RBI singles.

Central added four more runs in the second, including Hayter’s three-run home run to left-centerfield, to give itself some breathing room.

The Warriors then left it up to pitcher Ashley Goletz, who threw her second complete-game this week, giving up only two singles and striking out eight, throwing 135 pitches.

“They were playing well against Ashley,” Juarez said of Grand Junction (8-4, 1-3) working the count. “Ashley won the war.”

Central, meanwhile, had 13 hits, Jessica Romine leading the way with a 3-for-4 night.

Central’s lone game next week is against Montrose.

“They know that they can’t let up,” Juarez said.

“(Going undefeated in league) kind of motivates us to keep going,” Hayter said.

As long as they have ‘Roid’ in the bat bag, they’ll be tough to stop.


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