Basalt softball team tops Palisade, improves to 3-3 |

Basalt softball team tops Palisade, improves to 3-3

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Bruce Matherly is not getting head of himself.

While his Basalt softball team has emerged as a 3A Western Slope power and has made three consecutive state tournament appearances, the veteran coach is doing his best to keep things in perspective and keep expectations modest. The Longhorns are replacing five starters and opened the season Friday with a new-look infield that included freshmen at shortstop and first base.

“We know we have a long way to go and we have to kee working hard,” Matherly said Tuesday, following his team’s 20-15 victory in Palisade. “By the time we hit league play, in the third week of September, my hope is that we’ll be hitting on all cylinders. … It’s going to take time.”

Basalt experienced mixed results at Friday and Saturda’s Aurora Tournament on the Front Range. They lost all three games on Day 1 – including a lopsided defeat to Platte Valley, the state’s seventh -ranked team who knocked the Longhorns out the playoffs last fall.

Things took a turn for the better Saturday, when Basalt doubled up Peak to Peak, 16-8, then routed Dolores Huerta Preparatory School, 13-3.

The Longhorns kept that momentum going Tuesday. Pitcher Katie King led the way on the mound and at the plate against Palisade, going 4-for-5 with a triple and three RBI. Rebecca Choteau also pitched in with two hits and four RBI for Basalt, which improved to 3-3.

“We had them down by a bunch, but we had some lapses in concentration during the game,” Matherly said. “We let them back in, but we played pretty well.”

He added: “this is a good group, but it’s going to take a while before they start feeling comfortable with where they’re at with each other and what they can do. With this non-league [schedule], we try to make it tough so it does a better job of getting us ready. … We’ve got some young kids who are really dedicated and have the potential to be good players.”

The Longhorns host Eagle Valley at 4 p.m. Thursday.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Skiers No. 1 singles player Bryan Mehall put up a good fight Tuesday, but the rest of his teammates appeared overmatched in Grand Junction.

While Mehall dropped a tight two-setter to Junction’s Spencer Weinberg, 4-6 and 6-7, his teammates were outscored 72-18 in the other six matches. The Tigers cruised to the 7-0 victory.

The loss was Aspen’s second in its last three matches. The Skiers opened the season with lopsided wins over Durango (6-1) and Montrose before falling to rival Steamboat Springs, 5-2.

They rebounded with a 6-1 win against Cortez on Monday, but they came up empty against Junction.

Aspen returns to the court against Central High School at 4 p.m. Sept. 8 in Grand Junction.

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