Aspen settles for split with Cedaredge | AspenTimes.com

Aspen settles for split with Cedaredge

Jon Maletz

The Cedaredge shortstop attempts to tag Aspen shortstop Ashley Ryan before she reaches second base during the first game of their doubleheader at Islin Park on Saturday afternoon. Aspen won the first game, 8-5, and lost the second, 2-3. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

After Game 2 of Saturday’s conference doubleheader with Cedaredge, the Skiers softball team can’t help but wonder what could have been.Following a game in which Aspen came from behind to win 8-5, the Skiers were lethargic at the onset of the second game. Two errors and sloppy fielding in the first two innings led to three Bruins runs and Aspen could never catch up, losing 3-2.”I have a feeling we settled for one win and that’s why we came out flat in Game 2,” Aspen coach Eddie Zane said. “They made all the routine plays and we didn’t. We picked it up a little too late.”Two Aspen defensive miscues led to two Bruins runs in the first inning of Game 2. The Skiers were lucky to escape the second after giving up just one run. Cedaredge loaded the bases on three successive singles – all softly hit fly balls that fell lazily in-between the second baseman and right fielder. With one out, Aspen starter Brittney Britt walked Stephanie Litsheim, who homered in the first game. Britt escaped on the next at bat when a Cedaredge batter flew out to right-fielder Sarah Nininger, who then turned and fired to third base to catch a runner leaving early.

Britt, who struck out four and walked just two in a Game 1 win, held the Bruins to two hits and no runs over the final four innings to keep the Skiers in the game. She struck out three and walked one. “The errors killed us and usually when we don’t make plays, I get frustrated and lose it,” Britt said. “I kept throwing strikes and found my groove.”The Skiers pushed across a run in the fifth when Grace Siegle came around to score on a RBI double by catcher Carly Magill.Nicole Taylor scored on a passed ball in the seventh to cut the lead to one at 3-2. With the tying run standing at second base with two outs, Magill had one more chance. The senior, who was 2-for-3 in the game with three stolen bases, popped out to the catcher.

Aspen had its chances, but unlike Game 1, could not come through. The Skiers stranded at least one runner on base in six of seven innings. A questionable out call at third base in the third inning also negated an Aspen rally. The Skiers had two runners on base and just one out when the call was made. All seven of Aspen’s runners left on base were in scoring position when the final out was recorded. Aspen’s six through nine hitters – who scored five of Aspen’s eight runs in game one – were a combined 0-for-12 with six strikeouts.Aspen did not record a hit until Magill’s bunt single in the third, and two of Aspen’s first three base runners in the game reached on dropped third strikes.”I think the win in game one made us cocky,” Magill said. “We didn’t make the easy plays and that hurt us.”Trailing by two after three innings in Game 1, the Skiers capitalized on a Cedaredge throwing error to push two across and tie the game at four.

RBI singles by Tracy Clapper and Siegle and Nicole Taylor’s run scored on a pass ball in the Skiers half of the third gave them the 7-4 lead. Magill’s RBI single to left in the sixth gave Aspen the 8-5 lead. Siegle had three hits and scored three runs on the day. Six different Aspen players had a RBI in game one. The Skiers staved off a late-inning push from the Bruins, who scored two in the top of the seventh. Aspen third baseman Ashley Ryan caught a line drive and instinctively fired to first base to double up a Cedaredge runner, ending the trouble and the game. “I know they didn’t earn all three of their runs in the second game and that’s tough considering we played great in game one,” Zane said. “This is one we could’ve had.”Aspen travels to Basalt to play the Longhorns Tuesday at 4 p.m.Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is maletz@aspentimes.com