Softball: Rifle strikes early, beats Basalt
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
RIFLE, Colo. ” Rifle jumped out to an early 60 lead through two innings and held on for the 9-7 win against Basalt on Saturday morning.
Behind leadoff hitter Makayla Wilkins and third baseman Kelsey Pyle, who had a two-run homer in the first, the Bears outhit the Longhorns eight to five.
Wilkins finished 2-for-4 with an RBI single. Pyle finished with three hits and four RBIs.
From the first crack of the bat provided by Wilkins, it was clear it would be the Bears’ day. Wilkins hit a fly ball to center that was dropped, leaving Wilkins standing on second. An ensuing wild pitch and shortstop error on a ground ball hit by Dannon Dueitt scored Wilkins. After stealing second base, Dueitt scored on an RBI double from Alisha Rodebaugh, who finished 2-for-3. Then, Pyle made it 4-0, crushing a pitch over the wall in left center.
The Bears tacked on two additional runs in the second inning when Pyle hit a two-out, bases-loaded single. From there, Rifle would never look back.
Kacey Caron pitched 6 ⁄ 3 innings for the Bears, allowing only three earned runs on four hits while walking seven and striking out two.
The Longhorns took advantage of the first of Caron’s free passes in the third as they put the first two batters on via a hit by pitch and a walk, leading to three runs after a combination of wild pitches, stolen bases and an RBI single.
Rifle answered Basalt’s three-run inning with one of their own in the bottom half of the fifth as they put runners on second and third with no outs before left fielder Samantha Young drove home two with a single. Wilkins made it 9-4 with a RBI single of her own two batters later.
The Bears held the five-run advantage entering the final frame when a tired Caron struggled with her command, ultimately watching the first three Longhorn batters reach to load the bases with no outs. Basalt cleared the bases after a fly ball to center was dropped.
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This decision is part of a game plan to focus on giant slalom and slalom in the early part of season. Shiffrin will likely also pass on a speed stop in Val d’Isere from Dec. 18-20.