Basalt softball rolls against Eagle Valley |

Basalt softball rolls against Eagle Valley

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – While he admits his young team has been inconsistent, Basalt softball coach Bruce Matherly says he sees a lot of potential.

Those that filled the stands for Thursday’s home opener saw it, too.

Those that filled the stands for Thursday’s home opener saw it, too.

The Longhorns batted around in the first and third innings, erupted for 16 runs in little more than three innings and cruised to a 16-1, mercy-rule shortened victory over non-conference foe Eagle Valley.

“You never really know what side of the bed they are going to wake up on, but they were aggressive at the plate today and put good pitches in play,” Matherly said. “The thing we’re trying to develop here is that we don’t want to have any holes in the lineup. We want to check the scorebook and see diamonds up and down.”

Such was the case Thursday, as seven of the first eight Basalt players to bat scored in the opening inning, helping the home team erase an early one-run deficit. Connor Adams (double) and Bailey Strobel (single) each drove in two in the frame. During one stretch, the Longhorns strung together five consecutive hits.

Rebecca Choteau doubled and scored on an error, then Jordan DeCrow doubled home Maddie Nieslanik in the second as Basalt (4-3) stretched its lead to eight. One inning later, the Longhorns blew things wide open, capitalizing on three errors and two hits to plate five more runs.

That was more than enough insurance for Katie King, who shook off some early wildness to shut down the Devils offense. After surrendering a RBI groundout with two outs in the first, King retired six consecutive batters.

The senior allowed a single – Eagle Valley’s lone hit – and a walk to start the fourth, but regrouped quickly; she struck out consecutive batters, then induced a weak groundout to second base to quell the threat.

“I think she did a pretty good job of focusing when she needed to,” Matherly said of King. “We’re trying to work with her on her pitch selection and keeping the count down. We want her to be efficient and go right after hitters. So far, so good.”

The same can be said of the offense, which plated 20 runs in Tuesday’s win against Palisade. Shelley Briscoe scored on an error to open the fourth Thursday, then Adams sealed the victory – the Longhorns’ fourth in a row – with a run-scoring triple.

Adams went 3-for-4, scored three runs and drove in four, while DeCrow and Gavin La Croix each pitched in with two hits. Every player in the lineup scored at least one run for Basalt, which hosts Delta at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“It was just our day at the plate,” Matherly said. “We want to get to the point where we play like this more often.”

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