Basalt vs. Lamar at softball’s 3A state
The Aspen Times
The queens of the comeback will play on.
The Basalt High School girls softball team, fresh off another dramatic comeback victory in the Class 3A Regionals last weekend, will open the 12-team State Championships on Friday in Aurora.
The Longhorns (13-7), seeded No. 11 among the final 12 teams, will open the state finals at 12:15 p.m. Friday against No. 6 seed Lamar (14-6) at the Aurora Sports Complex.
Basalt is in the bracket with No. 3 overall seed La Junta (17-2).
La Junta will play the Basalt-Lamar winner at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Aurora.
That winner will move on as one of the state’s top four Class 3A teams. They will play for the state championship Saturday in Aurora.
“I think that’s a real good seeding for us,” Basalt head coach Colin Young said. He was hopeful the Longhorns would avoid the No. 8 or No. 9 slots, with the winner to face No. 1 seed and two-time defending state champion Strasburg (20-0).
“But we’ve got our work cut out for us,” Young said.
He added that the two other teams in their bracket at state are similar.
“They both have sound pitching but not dominant pitching and sound defense,” Young said of Lamar and LaJunta. “They can both hit.”
His own team’s resilience will be a key factor, Young said.
“We’ve been coming from behind all year,” Young said. “They don’t get rattled.”
And, he said, the team’s hitting is the ultimate driving force behind the Longhorns, who include players from Basalt, Glenwood Springs and Roaring Fork high schools.
“We just want our pitching to keep us in the game,” Young said. “And then our bats can win it.”
The Longhorns defeated Lyons 12-11 for a dramatic victory in the opening game of the regional playoffs last weekend ensuring Basalt’s return trip to the state finals.
Kaity Johnson blasted a big two-run homer to trigger Basalt’s crucial comeback.
“That was a shot,” Johnson said.
Other state matchups in 3A include No. 8 Burlington (13-8) vs. No. 9 Cedaredge (15-6). That winner will face No. 1 Strasburg (20-0).
No. 7 Longmont Skyline (16-5) will take on No. 10 Brush (11-10) with the winner to play No. 2 Valley (17-3).
No. 5 Eaton (14-5) will open against No. 12 Rocky Ford (14-6) with the winner to play No. 4 Sterling (15-5).
The team includes Morgan Ash, Jamie Briscoe, Kate Shrock, Kaity Johnson, Britin Strobel, Jordan Banc, Bailey Strobel, Bree Kaler and Keelie Roberts from Basalt High School.
Freshman Megan Nieslanik from Roaring Fork High School also plays on the Basalt composite softball team.
And the team includes Jordan DeCrow, Cassidy Young and Carly Schimp from Glenwood Springs High School,
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The Aspen Rec Center is beginning to reopen for indoor use after the coronavirus pandemic effectively put a bolt on the door in March. The ARC staff hopes to have the facility — or at least most of it — open to its members as soon as Oct. 5.