Preps: Aspen High softball gives Basalt a scare before Longhorns rally for the win

The Basalt High School softball team hosts Aspen on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Basalt.
Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

For a couple of innings, it looked like the world was upside down. At least, it may have seemed that way for the Basalt High School softball team as it trailed big to Aspen on Tuesday afternoon.

The final outcome, however, was very familiar to the Longhorns, who went on to win 19-9 in their home opener over the Skiers. But it was more of a battle than they’re used to against their upvalley rivals.

“We definitely started out a little slow, but we were just trying some different girls at different positions,” Basalt coach Amy Bollock said. “These girls know that we haven’t lost to Aspen … having that little tradition of always winning, I think it helps.”

Not only has Basalt not lost to Aspen anytime recently, really nobody has. The Skiers have only a lone win over Gunnison in 2018 to their name in recent years. Prior to that, AHS hadn’t won since 2009.

But Aspen held a surprising 8-1 lead after an inning and a half over the Longhorns on Tuesday before Basalt turned into the aggressor and ended up winning the game after only five innings due to their 10-run advantage.

“It was great fun. The girls played well,” longtime Aspen coach Dave Fuentes said. “We had a couple of mental errors, a couple of physical errors that are going to happen, but it was fun to see them compete and fun to see a Basalt-Aspen game that close all the way through.”

Aspen, now 0-3 overall, will take the confidence into a long break as it doesn’t play again until seeing Meeker on Sept. 11, after experiential education.

Basalt, which improved to 1-4 overall, will look to build on its first win under Bollock, who is in her first season as head coach after spending the past two seasons as an assistant. The Longhorns have been one of Class 3A’s better squads in recent years, but with an incredibly small roster this season — they only had nine available players against Aspen — this could be somewhat of a rebuilding year for the program.

Gallery caption: Photos: Aspen softball at Basalt

“It’s always good to get that first win and we’re excited to keep it going,” Bollock said. “The sophomore class is really big and there are a lot of girls that are brand new to the sport. But then we also have a core group of some of our upperclassmen that know the game really well and are working with the younger ones and trying to teach them the game as they go. It’s good. They are mixing really well.”

Basalt will play again Thursday in a home doubleheader with Eagle Valley.

Good day for soccer

The Basalt High School boys soccer team pulled off small stunner on Tuesday, going on the road to beat Delta 3-0 for its first win of the season. The Panthers, now 0-2, were among the favorites in the new-look Class 3A Western Slope League this fall.

Basalt had lost its season opener 5-2 on Friday to Crested Butte, the preseason No. 1-ranked team in Class 2A. But BHS bounced back in a big way on Tuesday to get to 1-1 on the season and stake a claim as a surprise contender in the WSL.

The Longhorns are slated to play a pair of games against Kent Denver and KIPP Denver Collegiate this weekend on the Front Range.

Aspen also recorded its first win on Tuesday after opening the season Saturday with a 1-0 double overtime loss to Crested Butte. The Skiers responded with a 4-1 win over Telluride, ranked No. 4 in 2A this week, in a game that was played in Grand Junction. Charlie Forster, Ansel Whitley, Sasha Forman and Tass Adams all scored goals for the Skiers.

Aspen (1-1) now goes on a long hiatus because of ex-ed. Tentatively, the Skiers’ next game is set for Sept. 11 at home against Steamboat Springs.

Basalt golf wins again

The Basalt High School boys golf team’s hot start to the season continued Tuesday when it won the Eagle Valley Championship at Gypsum Creek. The Longhorns shot a collective 230 to beat Vail Mountain by two strokes. Montrose was third with 237, while Aspen finished sixth with 242.

Eagle Valley’s Jake Crawford won the tournament, shooting even-par 72. Basalt freshman Jackson Stewart was second with 73, while Vail Mountain’s Henry Andrie and Basalt’s Garrett Exelbert tied for third with 76.

Aspen’s best scores came from seniors Will Stiller and Lucas Lee, who tied for ninth with 79. Nic Pevny, Aspen’s star senior and the defending state champion, did not compete.