‘Baby’ Longhorns beat up on bigger schools in Eagle
Against three bigger schools Saturday at the Eagle Valley Invite, Basalt’s young softball team didn’t flinch. Led by six strikeouts from freshman Jamie Matherly, the Longhorns routed 4A Steamboat Springs, 17-2, in the morning game, then got a four-hit gem from sophomore Alexa Aitken in the afternoon to down 5A John F. Kennedy, 5-2.In a rematch with 4A Palisade in the nightcap, the Longhorns lost 8-5 – a vast improvement from a 14-0 loss to the same team just a week before.Matherly gave up just two hits in three innings in the 15-run mercy rule win over the Sailors. The Longhorns, meanwhile, had nine hits and nine stolen bases, which included a 3-for-3, two-RBI outing from freshman Kenzie Kuhn. Aitken added three RBIs with a bases-clearing triple, and Abby King was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases.Against JFK, Aitken collected five strikeouts over six innings.Tied at one after four innings, the Longhorns broke out in the fifth with three runs.Matherly led off with a walk and stole second base and Kuhn followed with a line-drive single to right field to drive Matherly home. Aitken followed with a walk, then Kuhn and Aitken both advanced bases on a passed ball. Freshman Lane Calabro then brought both home with a deep shot to center.”It was easily the best game the baby Longhorns have played this season,” Basalt coach Bruce Matherly said. “We outhit JFK eight to four, and the ladies played some solid defense. Kira Selucky and Morgan Armbruster made some great catches in the outfield that game.”Basalt committed 10 errors in the previous loss to Palisade – mistakes Matherly attributed to nerves and inexperience. Saturday night, the Longhorns settled down on defense, and Aitken carried Basalt on the mound, allowing four hits.Palisade broke a 2-2 tie in the third when a runner scored on a fielder’s choice. Basalt had one bad inning in the field, allowing five runs in the fifth off two errors and two walks. “Alex seemed to be running out of gas and was a little wild,” Matherly said. “The wild pitches led to too many extra bases for Palisade, which was just too much to overcome.”Basalt manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth when Selucky led off with a single and stole second before Matherly hit her home.The Longhorns added two more runs in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough to push the game into extra innings.For an update on Aspen softball and other prep action over the weekend, check back in The Aspen Times.