Basalt edges Aspen 20-16 in extras
Basalt reliever Jennifer Barton pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the bottom of the seventh inning with Aspen’s winning-run hugging third base, then the Longhorn batters rallied for seven runs in the first extra inning to defeat the Skiers 20-16 Thursday afternoon at the AHS field.Neither team could contain the other and the runs just kept piling up, inning by inning.In the top of the seventh, Basalt added three more runs to take a 13-9 lead with only three outs remaining for Aspen.
But Aspen rallied back once more.Pitcher Brittney Britt led off with a double, and Tracy Clapper reached after getting hit by a Barton pitch. The next two Aspen batters drew walks to load the bases and cut the deficit to 13-10, still with no outs.Then Carly Magill singled in another run, 13-11, and two more came in on a throwing error to tie it up at 13 all with the bases still juiced and no outs. That left Magill 60 feet away from home plate – but Aspen’s next three batters went down in order: a soft liner into the glove of Basalt shortstop Whitney Campbell, then a strikeout, then a foul pop-up that catcher Katy Mulcahy gloved to end the inning and send the game into extras.Basalt answered with a seven-run rally to go up 20-13. And while Aspen scored three more runs in the bottom half of the eighth, and once again loaded the bases, a rifle throw from Basalt right fielder Darbi Scherer (who pitched 6 1/3 innings before handing off to Barton for the final five outs) gunned down an Aspen runner at home plate for the final out of the game.
Basalt improved to 3-5 in league play and 4-9 overall. Aspen, coming off wins in three of their last four games, dropped to 3-13 overall.”I’m very happy with the girls,” said Basalt coach Tom Barton. “Every day they come out, they surprise me. They stuck with it today.”Basalt’s Emily Birk went 4-for-5 with 2 RBIs and Campbell was 3-for-5. Jaclyn Everett was 4-for-6 at the plate with 3 RBIs, including a triple in the top of the eighth to key the seven-run rally. Scherer had 5 RBIs at the bat and 3 strikeouts, Heather Conder was 4-for-6 with an RBI, and Mulcahy was 3-for-5 with an RBI.
For Aspen, Britt pitched a complete game, allowing just four walks, and went 2-for-5 at the plate (two long doubles) with 2 RBIs. Magill was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, and Maggie Melberg drove in four runs.”We should’ve won this game,” Aspen coach Ed Zane said. “Errors hurt us, but they didn’t give up and, even though we dug ourselves in holes, we got out of it every time with big hits, good base-running and heart.””We’re still a rebuilding team,” Zane continued, “with an entirely new infield and pitcher with the exception of [catcher] Magill. So we’ve come a long way.”Next up, Aspen travels to Delta on Tuesday to face Norwood in a pigtail game for the right to advance to the district tournament in Gunnison. Basalt, which already clinched a berth to the district tournament, will play in Gunnison on Oct. 16 against an opponent that has yet to be determined.
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