Cedaredge High School's softball team opened its 2017 campaign on a successful note by racing past Aspen, 25-8, on Aug. 21.
The contest, played in Aspen, took just four innings to complete with the Bruins dominating after the first inning of action.
Both teams tallied six runs in the opening frame and from there the similarities ceased.
Delta took control of the game with an 8-run burst in the second inning. Neither team scored a run in the third inning leaving the score at 14-7 going to the fourth.
Cedaredge plated 11 runs in the top of the fourth inning and then limited the Skiers to just one in the bottom of the inning to end the game via the run-rule.
Hannah Gardner was responsible for half a dozen runs for the Bruins on a 3-4 day, including a home run and a day where she scored three times herself.
Emalee Brookes was 1-3, scored twice and knocked in four runs for the Bruins.
Other top hitting games went to Kambry Hall with a 4-5 day with two RBIs, Katie Hyke with two hits in three at bats and three RBIs and Josie Hiatt picked up three RBIs on one hit.
Summer Young was Cedaredge's winning pitcher with three innings of work. Ellie Lewis saw one inning of work.
The Bruins committed four errors and Aspen had five miscues in the contest helping the run-count go up.
Cedaredge is in Gunnison on Saturday, Sept. 2 to face Faith Christian at 10 a.m. followed by doubleheader action with Basalt on Sept. 5 beginning at 2 p.m. Aspen comes to Cedaredge on Sept. 7 for a 4 p.m. contest. The Bruins end the week at Berthoud in tournament play.
Cedaredge softball coach Matt Hall acknowledges the fact his team is possibly not as potent as last year's team but he also believes his team can be one of four teams in the hunt for a league title. "Delta, Basalt and Meeker will all be tough this year. Basalt and Meeker are returning most of their teams from last year and Delta has some tough younger girls that will make an impact this year. This year is quite unique in that the top spot in the league could go to any of four teams (us, Delta, Meeker or Basalt)."
Hall, who has five years coaching softball in both Cedaredge and Delta, welcomes back assistants Angie Morgan, Dick Hamilton and Lonnie Stroud in 2017.
The Bruins return a solid core of players which includes Kambry Hall, Josie Hiatt, Katie Hyke, Shelby Stone, Hannah Gardner and Summer Young.
Though Hall knows it will take a team effort, he is quick to mention his talented, and possibly one of the best, outfield threesomes in all leagues in seniors Hiatt, Hyke and Hall. They have been like vacuum cleaners in the past. "We also have a slew of juniors and a few freshmen that will have to make some jumps," noted Hall.
All said and done, Hall is confident in how well his Bruins will play this year. "We are planning on returning to the state tournament. We feel we have a good chance at being league champions."
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.