Basalt softball rallies to beat Delta, secures district title |

Basalt softball rallies to beat Delta, secures district title

The Basalt High School softball team celebrates after defeating Delta, 6-5, on Tuesday at the BHS softball field. The win clinched the district title for the Longhorns.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Never again should anyone doubt Basalt High School’s Zoe Vozick. The only freshman on the Longhorns’ varsity softball team, it was her diving catch in center field in the top of the seventh inning that possibly preserved a come-from-behind 6-5 win against Delta on Tuesday at the BHS softball field.

“Zoe’s catch — wow. That was insane,” Basalt junior pitcher Morgan Ash said. “That kid, she comes in as a freshman, and she just blows our mind, every single day, every single game, every single practice. She works her butt off and she deserves it.”

Without Vozick’s catch, the Panthers likely score in the final inning and it’s anyone’s guess what would happen after that. However, Delta was held without a run that inning, the win securing Basalt its first Class 3A District 5 title since 2013.

It means Basalt (14-2 overall, 11-1 district play) will get to host its regional tournament a week from Saturday.

“I didn’t know what I was doing until it happened. I just saw the ball and said, ‘I’m going for it.’ And then I was on the ground,” Vozick said of her catch. “I sort of just wanted to lay there for a little bit and just take it all in before I got up. But you got to get up and finish the game.”

Vozick’s grab was only the finale of a drama-filled game Tuesday, which also happened to be senior day for the Longhorns.

Basalt trailed 5-0 after three and a half innings, all five runs coming off two home runs, one in the third inning and another in the fourth inning. The Longhorns answered with a much needed three-run fourth inning, two of the runs courtesy of wild pitches.

“It was kind of rough, but we are a comeback team,” said Basalt senior Carly Schimp, a Glenwood Springs High School student. “We always have been. We just came back. That’s what we do.”

Still trailing 5-3 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Basalt’s offense finally found life. Junior Emily Hendershot was hit by a pitch to open the inning, before a single by sophomore Payten Spencer put two on with no outs.

A couple of batters later, Vozick’s hit scored a run to make it 5-4. Then with two outs, it was Schimp who singled up the middle and scored two runs, one being the eventual game-winner.

“We really struggled,” Basalt coach Marianne Gardner-Smith said of the team’s offense most of the game. “Carly is one of our two seniors, and holy cow, she came through when she needed to come through. She has had two big games for us this year; one was on her birthday and one today, on senior day.”

Leading for the first time in the game, the Basalt defense was tasked to finish the game in the top of the seventh, a district title on the line. Vozick’s diving heroics in the outfield got the inning started, and even after giving up a pair of singles, a pair of pop ups put the game away.

The win also gave Basalt a season sweep of Delta (9-8 overall), the first win coming in the season opener, 11-8.

“If I couldn’t share it with them, it wouldn’t be worth it,” Ash said of her teammates. “It definitely was not looking good there, for a while. We pulled it together as a team. We did it as a team. Those girls, having them behind me gave me all the courage in the world. I could not be where I am today without them. We could have not won this game without everything they did.”

The Longhorns still have three games remaining in the regular season, all non-district road games against Class 4A opponents. Basalt will play at Rifle on Thursday before heading to Denver on Saturday to play both Faith Christian and Evergreen.

Regional play will begin the following weekend in Basalt.

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