Miscues don’t hurt Central: Warriors overcome three errors to top Tigers

Central’s Brittany Hoppe connects on one of her two hits Thursday in the Warriors’ 5-1 victory over Grand Junction at Bergman Field. Hoppe scored two runs in the win.

Central made enough mistakes to lose, but rival Grand Junction wasn’t able to take advantage of the miscues.

The No. 2-ranked Central High School softball team avoided serious trouble Thursday night and was able to push across some runs to defeat the Tigers 5-1 in a Southwestern League game at Bergman Field.

“It was the first league game under the lights so I think the adrenaline got the best of us a little bit,” Central coach Scott Else said. “We’ll sew that stuff up and hopefully the second time we see them, we’ll be a little more relaxed. There were a few more errors than I’d like to see, but we got the win.”

The Warriors (9-2, 2-0 SWL) had three errors, but Grand Junction (7-5, 0-2 SWL) stranded seven runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the third.

Central senior Mikayla Duffy (7-1) pitched out of trouble each time. She limited Grand Junction to one earned run on three hits, struck out five and walked three.

Grand Junction pitcher Cierra Cosslett (4-3) allowed four earned runs on nine hits, struck out three and walked two.

“We had runners on in every inning but a couple,” Grand Junction coach Adam Diaz said. “We couldn’t put two or three hits together. We had a couple critical errors and mental errors. You can’t give that to a good team like Central, but I loved the way the (Grand Junction) girls played. They didn’t let the score dictate how they played. I really like what I’m seeing. I liked the heart.”

Central jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Jessica Romine walked, then Brittany Hoppe singled to put two on with no outs. Duffy grounded out, but Romine scored. Her twin sister, Danielle, followed with a sacrifice fly before Grand Junction recorded the final out of the inning.

Hoppe singled to lead off the third inning and scored on a fielder’s choice for a 3-0 lead.

Grand Junction finally pushed a run across in the fifth.

Hannah Pilling walked with two outs, advanced to second base on a passed ball and scored on Paula Lage’s single to right-center field.

Central responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Duffy singled, then Danielle Romine reached first on a bunt to put two on with one out. Taylor Hice followed with a two-run double to left-center field and advanced to third on the late throw to second.

“We really stress trying to score first,” Else said. “We’ll play small ball ... whatever we’ve got to do to get that run across. One of our best power hitters on the team is laying down bunts to get a girl in scoring position. They really grab the team concept well.”

Else is giving Central the rest of the weekend off to unwind before gearing up for another league rival game under the lights against Fruita Monument (10-1, 2-0 SWL) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Bergman Field.

“That will be another one I’ll have to calm them down a bit, because I think they’ll be really excited for that one,” Else said.


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