Monument takes 9-10 Boys District crown
Blake Schultz is the kind of player who racks up the dirt and grass stains.
“I like getting my pants dirty,” Schultz said.
So, with a streak of four-inning mercy-rule wins hanging in the balance, it made sense that the Monument Little League center fielder would save the day.
After misplaying the ball off the bat, Schultz made a leaping catch that left him tumbling before raising his mitt to signal the catch, highlighting a 10-0 win over Three Rivers to secure the 9-10 Boys District 1 championship.
Although defensive plays allowed Monument to limit opponents to a handful of runs during the tournament, this particular moment meant more to coach Bobby Schultz.
It was a “dad moment.”
“You let those sink in,” Schultz said with a laugh.
Winning pitcher Kory Christensen spread two hits across four innings and struck out four with no walks.
Christensen said having solid batting has made pitching easy.
“We just hit really well,” Christensen said. “We put the ball in play a lot. We just all work well together.”
Monument put up five runs in the second inning and another five runs in the fourth. The squad is one that can score from the top or bottom of the lineup, Bobby Schultz said.
All but one player crossed the plate for Monument, and four hitters had multi-hit games. Kyle Mimmack paced Monument with a 2-for-3 performance.
“We’ve been lucky enough to be able to put some big innings on the board,” Schultz said. “It’s really helped us out and allowed us to not have to play more than four innings all tournament. Zack Garcia did a great job for us behind the plate, and really, all the kids did a great job for us, and over the course of this tournament they all got to make plays.”
Outfielder Caleb Nadel said the team has high hopes heading into the state tournament.
“I think it was pretty fun to be on this team,” Nadel said. “We made it.”
CRV wins Junior Girls title
The Colorado River Valley Junior Division softball team hails from a mishmash of towns on the Western Slope, and its players were limited to two practices together before the District 1 tournament.
Girls from Rangely had to travel more than 100 miles to practice in Rifle.
But a team that got to know one another while competing was able to top a consistently good Delta program to win 16-13 and secure a District 1 title.
Every CRV runner crossed the plate at least once, and the squad’s first lead came from drawing a dozen walks in the first two innings. CRV never trailed, but it had to hold off two furious rallies by Delta.
“Our girls just love the sport enough and love playing ball, and really that’s all they want to do at the end of the day,” CRV coach Andy Shaffer said. “Rick Dodds from Meeker and Kelly Brown and I all talked after we scrimmaged each other last year and decided that we had enough girls from Rangely, and we didn’t have enough girls from Meeker, so let’s put these girls together. A lot of good came from that.”
Rangely shortstop Katelyn Brown had a hit and three walks and scored three times. Parachute outfielder Destiny Bulger hit a two-run single.
Two Fruita Little League teams, both hosting Little League state tournaments, opened state play with victories Friday night.
Fruita defeated Sherrelwood, a District 2 team from the Denver area, 16-3 in the 9-10 Girls Division.
In the Major Girls Division, Fruita beat District 2 representative Westminster 16-1.
Both Fruita teams play today against a District 5 opponent that received a first-round bye.