Tigers record shutout to end season for Longhorns
It took the Basalt softball team nearly six full innings in Saturday’s district tournament first-round game against Holy Family to notch a hit – It came on a bunt by freshman Carmel Mulchay.Holy Family’s starter had a perfect game through 4 2/3 innings and struck out eight as the Tigers defeated the Longhorns, 10-0, in a game shortened to six innings because of the mercy rule.”We held our own for two innings, but they just pulled away and we couldn’t touch their pitcher,” Basalt coach Bruce Matherly said. “She was their No. 2 starter and had an earned-run average of 2.84 on the season. I estimate she through in the mid-50s. It wasn’t a big difference compared with pitchers in our league, but it was enough to throw us off.”Basalt’s Jacquelyn Everett broke up the perfect game in the fifth when she drew a walk after a 12-pitch at-bat. The Longhorns (7-5, 5-3) trailed by just two after two innings, but the Tigers pushed across six runs in the third to stretch the lead to 8-0. They added one more in the fourth.Holy Family (15-5, 8-0) – ranked second in the state by Rocky Preps – pushed across its final run on a controversial obstruction call in the sixth inning. With two runners on base, Matherly decided to walk one of the Tigers’ strongest hitters. On the ensuing ground ball, the batter was called out at first, but upon further review reversed the call after it was determined that the Basalt first-baseman had obstructed the runner’s path to first.”It wouldn’t have changed the game, and it wasn’t a big deal, but I was just surprised by the call,” Matherly said. “They got the hits, and we didn’t.”Holy Family outhit the Longhorns, 9-1. Despite keeping its mistakes to a minimum with only three errors, Basalt was overmatched against the Tigers, who have been to the playoffs in six consecutive seasons.The Longhorns advanced to the postseason after defeating Cedaredge, 13-10, in a tiebreaker Tuesday in Palisade. Both teams have identical conference records and split their season series.Gunnison – first in the Slope standings at 6-2 – fell in the first round to Brush, 13-10. Considering his squad has been competing on the varsity level for just three years, Matherly said he was impressed by his team’s success, and optimistic about the future of Longhorns softball. “We’re on the right track and I think we’ll get stronger,” Matherly said. “I think we can clearly get to [Holy Family’s] level if we continue to work with our programs up here and keep polishing our game.”We had a great group of girls this year ,and this was one of the most enjoyable coaching experiences I’ve ever had.”
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