AHS softball falls to Gunnison in tourney | AspenTimes.com

AHS softball falls to Gunnison in tourney

The final chapter of what coach Ed Zane called “the best season Aspen softball’s ever had” wasn’t particularly fitting for this year’s Aspen High girls.

Facing Gunnison on the road in the Class 3A Western Slope League district tournament Saturday, Aspen hung in a close game until the sixth inning.

Gunnison blew open the game in the bottom half of the sixth to win by the 10-run rule, 18-8. Gunnison went on to deliver Eagle Valley its first defeat against a league opponent, winning the district tournament and a berth in the state tournament, while Aspen finished third.

At 6-16 overall and 4-4 in league play (Aspen’s best league record in recent history), the Aspen girls found a little solace in seeing Gunnison advance, Zane said.

“It’s no fun to lose, but to lose to the team that eventually goes on to take the championship is a little easier to take,” he said.

“Our girls came a long way over the last four years,” the coach continued. “And of all the fall sports, we’re usually one of the teams that doesn’t do so well. This year, we’re one of the better teams. It’s a nice change.”

Aspen scored five runs in the second inning, two runs in the third and another run in the fourth to keep Gunnison in check.

In the big second inning, senior Jenna Rosen singled to lead off, Cory Regan got hit by a pitch, and Ashley Ryan walked, loading up the bases for Alex Bethel. Bethel, who was 3 for 4 on the day with three runs batted in and scored, a homer and a stolen base, singled in two runs. Katie Hyman then singled in two more.

“So we had eight runs by the fourth, and it was going back and forth,” said Zane. “We were right there with them, but they just hit the crap out of the ball and walked away with it in the last inning.”

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