Resilient Skiers top Cedaredge | AspenTimes.com

Resilient Skiers top Cedaredge

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Paul Conrad The Aspen Times

Consider Thursday’s 13-0 loss to Basalt a thing of the past.

The Skiers softball team overcame two- and three-run deficits in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader with Cedaredge, then Marisa Dreher hit a dramatic two-out walk-off RBI single in the eighth to seal a 7-6 win. Aspen kept the momentum going in the second game, erupting for six runs in the second and pulling out the 7-5 win to complete the sweep and pick up a third win in its last four games.

“It took us a while to get the bats going this morning, but once we did it obviously helped a lot,” Skiers head coach Jeremy Haack said. “I was proud of them and their effort. They really showed some resiliency.”

The Aspen offense mustered just three singles off Bruins starter Megan Caywood through five innings in Game 1 and trailed by two when it came to bat in the bottom of the sixth. Starting pitcher Liz Baty led off with a walk, advanced to third on consecutive passed balls, then scored on Kerry Braisted’s groundout to shortstop.

Whitney Hubbell and Claire Kornasiewicz hit singles, then Annie Parker walked to load the bases with two outs. Sierra McKinney then delivered the big blow, hitting a pop fly that landed in front of Cedaredge left fielder Brook Hernandez, scoring two runs and giving Aspen the 3-2 lead.

The Bruins answered right back in the top of the seventh with four runs on three hits, building a three-run cushion. Ashley Brady hit a two-run single and Taryn Fischer scored on a passed ball in the inning.

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The Skiers weren’t fazed. Hana Maclean led off with a single, then Baty lined the first pitch she saw deep into left for a run-scoring triple. She and Dreher later scored on passed balls to tie the game and force extra innings.

After retiring Cedaredge in order in the top of the eighth, Haack gathered his players as they came off the field.

“I told them they were about to score the winning run and were going to have a celebration at home plate,” he said.

The coach’s premonition was correct, despite an unfavorable start to the inning. After a groundout and a strikeout, Maclean drew a walk and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball. The Bruins opted to intentionally walk Baty and go after freshman Dreher.

The plan backfired. Dreher ripped Caywood’s 3-2 offering past Brady at third base and into left. Maclean trotted home where she was mobbed by teammates.

“That’s what you dream about,” Haack said. “We’ve been down before and came up with the big inning, and I reminded the girls of those games. … The [momentum] really carried over in the second game.”

The Skiers sent 11 to the plate, recorded four hits and scored six runs in the second inning of Game 2. Baty struck out seven and picked up her second win of the day against the Bruins, who couldn’t overcome their early deficit.

“We got up early and were able to hold on, thank goodness,” Haack said. “We’re going to enjoy this.”

Aspen next travels to Gunnison on Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.

“The girls have confidence, they know we’ve got a good team,” Haack said. “We’re still in the middle of the conference race. Things are good.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com

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