Tiger girls cruise past Cortez
There is something special about a game that lasts just over an hour for the Grand Junction High School girls softball team.
“We just play our game and try not to step down against a team like Cortez,” shortstop Arrianna Diaz said. “Practicing at that level helps us play like we did today. I definitely break a sweat during practices.”
And a hard practice heading into a doubleheader against Montezuma-Cortez brought everything together as the Tigers cruised to an 11-1 Game 1 win in five innings and an 8-4 win in Game 2.
Elisha Jahnke fanned eight batters without a walk in the opener. She allowed one unearned run and gave up two hits. She also helped her own cause on offense with a three-run home run, going 3 for 3 and knocking in four runs. Diaz added a solo home run and had batted in two runs.
Pitching, according to Grand Junction coach Adam Diaz, is what got the offense rolling.
“With pitching we just came right at them,” he said. “We knew (Jahnke) would probably be the best pitcher they’d seen this year. Work within the strike zone and come right at them.
“It gives us a lot of confidence moving forward. We know that no matter our opponent, we set that standard and we live that standard.”
In Game 2, however, the pitching and defense let down. The Tigers committed four errors and had to rely on offense to stay in the game.
“The intensity definitely wasn’t there,” Adam Diaz said. “We played to their level. Look at the score, 8-4, and we went seven innings.”
Catcher Morgan Zanski belted a solo home run in the second game, and had two RBI. Bri Baldwin went 4 for 4 with three singles and a triple.
“Our practices are harder than our games. We push them hard because we see their talent as a group as well as individuals,” Adam Diaz said. “Our talent is all over. We had Elisha on the mound, Arrianna, (Shafer Rubalcaba) had a couple nice hits for us there. It’s what I really enjoy about our team concept. Everyone complements everybody.”
The Tigers are 9-1 on the year, with their only loss coming against Thunder Ridge. They travel to winless Liberty High School in Colorado Springs for their next game.
“We need to play at a high level no matter our opponent. It’s all about our standard,” Adam Diaz said.