Prep Notebook: Warriors softball team hitting for a high average

Central High School’s softball team is off to a torrid start at the plate.

The second-ranked Warriors have already hit 16 home runs and scored 90 runs this season.

“We’re hitting the ball well,” Central coach Scott Else said. “We don’t have a lot of doubles or triples, but we have five girls hitting over .500 and one over .600. The top of the order is really producing.”

Central is hitting .445 as a team, led by Mikayla Duffy. The senior is hitting .692 with three home runs, 16 runs and 19 RBI.

Duffy, the Warriors’ No. 1 pitcher, is 6-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 42 innings this season.


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The Romine sisters, Danielle and Jessica, have combined to hit 11 of the team’s 16 home runs.

“It breaks down to who holds the opposing offenses down,” Else said. “It’s going to come down to pitching and defense.”

Front-runners

The Hotchkiss High School girls cross country teams set a great pace at last week’s Warrior Invitational by having five runners finish in the top 10.

Freshman Natalie Anderson led the way, finishing first in 19:46. That was a full minute ahead of second-place finisher Eryn Leonard of Moffat County.

“She’s not experienced when it comes to running in high school,” Hotchkiss coach Kelly Cowan said. “But she’s competed in a lot of road races and has experience there.”

The other Bulldogs to finish in the top 10 were Jennifer Celis (fourth in 21:06), Taylor Polson (seventh in 21:24), Vela Bair (eighth in 21:26), and Chelsey Reed (ninth in 21:38).

The Bulldogs’ start is impressive, considering this is a group with only 14 runners.

“Four of our top six runners are freshmen,” Cowan said. “They are young, and in one sense, it works in our favor because they have no preconceptions about how the other runners or schools are.”

The Bulldogs are a cooperative program with Paonia and Cedaredge high schools, and compete at the Class 3A level.

Hotchkiss will run in Friday’s Ned Pollert Invitational at Canyon View Park.

Regionals around the corner

Monday and Tuesday are the key days of the high school golf season, when one 18-hole round determines who qualifies for state.

The Class 5A Metro East regional begins at 8 a.m. on Monday at Tiara Rado Golf Course. Arapahoe, Cherokee Trail, Cherry Creek, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland, Smoky Hill, Heritage, Littleton and Regis join Grand Junction, Fruita Monument and Central in the regional.

“It almost feels weird, like we should be packing the bags, because we do that every year, so it’s nice playing at home,” Central coach Todd Dixon said.

The Class 4A and Class 3A Western regionals are Tuesday at Cobble Creek Golf Course in Montrose.

Teams participating in the 4A tournament are Palisade, Montrose, Montezuma-Cortez, Durango, Battle Mountain, Delta, Eagle Valley, Glenwood Springs, Moffat County, Steamboat Springs and Summit.

In 3A, it’s Ridgway, Vail Mountain, Telluride, Aspen, Basalt, Coal Ridge, Grand Valley, Gunnison, Meeker, Rangely, Rifle, Roaring Fork and Vail Christian.

Hanging tough

The Class 1A Paonia football team has played two Class 2A Western Slope Conference teams the first two weeks of the season. The Eagles have come up short, but coach Craig Cerise is pleased with what he’s seen.

“I felt we’ve taken a step forward,” he said. “We’ve done some things better. We’ve had some starters out. For example, one was sick the day of the game and couldn’t play. It’s good to know you can count on younger kids.”

Blaine Escher had a big game against Grand Valley with eight receptions on offense. He also had one interception.

Suspension

Several Cherry Creek varsity boys tennis players have been suspended for fixing intrasquad matches that would determine the playing order for regular-season matches, KCNC-4 and the Denver Post reported.

Cherry Creek has won 36 of the past 38 state championships, including the past nine.

State recoGNITION

Central High School principal Jody Diers was named the IBM High School (Administrator) Hero of the Week for Sept. 6-11.

Diers earned the award as a part of IBM, 850 KOA and the Denver Broncos teaming with the Colorado High School Activities Association to recognize activity/athletic participants, coaches, administrators, officials and volunteers that promote the educational value of interscholastic participation.

During the week leading up to the Denver Broncos next game, 850 KOA will be running ads recognizing Diers and the other recipients of the weekly award.

Killin’ it

Here’s a look at some of the volleyball kills leaders from schools outside of District 51.

Katie Kahrs, Delta, 13.7 kills per match; Emily Brumitt, Olathe, 10.8 kills per match; Jazmin McFarland, Grand Valley, 9.5 kills per match; Brittany Berry, Montrose, 7 kills per match.

— By Allen Gemaehlich and Patrick Bahr


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