Basalt softball team rallies for another comeback win | AspenTimes.com

Basalt softball team rallies for another comeback win

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

BASALT — The Basalt High School softball team added another dramatic comeback win Tuesday to a season of dramatic comebacks.

The Longhorns, a cooperative prep team with players from Basalt, Roaring Fork and Glenwood Springs, pulled their latest comeback against the visiting Palisade Bulldogs, who obliged by taking an immediate 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

The Basalt girls, in a customary fashion en route to their 7-4 overall record, stayed close to the Bulldogs before exploding with a six-run fifth inning and a stunning 10-8 lead in a game that Palisade had led from the start.

But the pesky Bulldogs tied the game with two runs in the top of the sixth inning on a triple to the fence in right field by Kaylanne Steiber, driving in Danica DeLaHoz who had opened the inning with a single to center.

McKenzie Krabbe's ground out scored DeLaHoz for Palisade, and the game was tied 10-10 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning.

Basalt's Kaity Johnson singled down the left-field line to start the game-winning rally. She advanced on Jamie Briscoe's second bunt single.

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Johnson scored on Britin Strobel's slap double down the left-field line, giving the Longhorns an 11-10 lead as the home fans roared their approval. The double was Strobel's third hit of the day; she reached base all five times she batted.

"She's been coming through all year for us," Basalt head coach Colin Young said of the left-handed hitting Britin Strobel. "She's money in the bank. She's the best leadoff hitter that I've had here."

With the momentum of the 11-10 lead, Basalt pitcher Cassidy Young finished the win with a 1-2-3 seventh inning, sending Palisade to the loss and a 4-9 overall record.

Young, who pitched 42⁄3 innings in relief of starter Morgan Ash, struck out six Bulldogs, including a big strikeout when Palisade had the bases loaded with only one out in the fifth.

Britin Strobel led the way with three hits for the Longhorns, who totaled 13 against the pitching of DeLaHoz.

Jordan DeCrow, a Glenwood Springs shortstop playing for the Longhorns, had two hits Tuesday.

Bailey Strobel had a double and a single. Her ringing double to left field started the big Basalt rally in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Freshman Megan Nieslanik, who attends Roaring Fork, added an RBI single in the inning, setting the stage for Bree Kaler's RBI-double off the fence in right field. Briscoe had another bunt base hit in the inning.

In all, the Longhorns sent 12 batters to the plate and scored six times in the inning.

The Longhorns also scored three times in the third on three consecutive hits by Britin Strobel, DeCrow and Young.

"We're making a habit of this," the Basalt head coach said after the latest comeback. The Longhorns had a simialr 13-12 comeback victory over Monarch last weekend in Denver.

"They are not flustered at all (when they get behind)," Young said. "We have four freshmen who play regularly, and they don't get flustered. The older ones kind of set the example."

He said the Palisade pitcher dominated early with an effective fastball.

"We had to go to small ball. We couldn't catch up to Danica (DeLaHoz) the first three times through the lineup," Young said. "We knew if we could put the ball in play, we could put pressure on the defense."

Evidently.

In the six-run rally in the fifth, the Longhorns used the bunt to force three errors by the Bulldogs in the inning.

"Our defense is doing pretty well; our hitting is carrying us right now," Young said. "And our pitching kept us in the game. That's all we asked."

The Longhorns will head to Gypsum today for a game against Eagle Valley.

They will travel to Gunnison on Saturday for a conference doubleheader.

dstrode@aspentimes.com