Skiers’ softball slide continues
ASPEN The big inning and the big arm of Gunnison starter Janet Peterson did Aspen in. Peterson struck out 16 Skiers in 12 innings of shutout ball, and the Gunnison offense scored four or more runs in four innings in Saturday’s doubleheader to key its 14-0 and 8-0 victories.”We had one or two shaky innings on defense – take away those, and you have two great ballgames,” Aspen coach Ed Zane said. “We had a chance in both games.”The Cowboys broke open Game 1 in the second when they pushed across four runs to jump ahead, 5-0. Gunnison had five hits in the inning, including a two-run home run from No. 8 hitter Kala Marks.
Marks was one of five Cowboys to score in a third inning in which Erika Buscovick homered off Aspen starter Liz Baty. Four of the first five batters scored. Six batters had two hits for the Cowboys, who put the game out of reach with four runs in the fifth, pushing their lead to 14.While the Gunnison bats continued to roll, so, too, did Peterson. She struck out at least one batter in each of her five innings in Game 1, and worked around a Nicole Twohig single and a Whitney Hubbell walk with two outs by inducing a lazy fly ball.”Their pitcher got a lot of our girls on that changeup,” Zane said. “They held us. We got some runners on base, but they made plays when it mattered.”
Peterson continued to fluster the Skiers (8-5) in the second game. She scattered three hits, retired the side in order in three of seven innings and struck out eight. Only four Aspen runners reached second base. Despite a troubled offense, the Skiers managed to keep the game close. Baty worked around a two-out RBI double by Grace Bernard by inducing a groundout to the mound. Rachell Cable walked and scored on an outfield error in the fourth, giving Gunnison a 2-0 lead. The Skiers loaded the bases in the second when Hanna MacLean singled, Chelsea Hanle drew a walk, and Twohig reached on an error. Peterson responded, however, striking out Annie Parker to end the threat. She struck out three of the next four batters she faced. Peterson helped seal the game in the fourth, when her two hits and two RBIs helped key a six-run inning. Jaqueline Lovato and Hannah Tredway had RBI singles for the Cowboys, who sent 11 batters to the plate.
“We showed we can play with the toughest team in the league,” Aspen catcher Sarah Nininger said. “We knew it was going to be tough, but we played better than we were planning on doing. We’re confident going into Basalt.”Aspen, which has lost three straight after winning five in a row, will look to rebound at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Basalt. The Longhorns beat the Skiers, 13-1, during the teams’ first meeting.Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.