Delta's softball season continued with a pair of contests against Montrose and Faith Christian. The Panthers and Indians played in Delta Aug. 29 and ended with Delta claiming a 14-9 victory. Delta was in Gunnison to face Faith Christian last Saturday, Sept. 2, where the Panthers' youth showed in an 8-4 loss to the Eagles.
Delta 14, Montrose 9
Delta scored four times in the first quarter against the Indians and led after each inning to score a 14-9 decision at home.
The Panthers outhit Montrose 15 to 14 with junior Jenna Sutliff generating four RBIs on two hits, including a home run, to lead Delta's RBI-parade. Sutliff's home run was the fourth in five games for the slugging junior.
Junior Alyssa Trujillio and senior Shyanne Steele knocked in two runs each while four other Panther batters recorded an RBI apiece. Twelve of Delta's 14 runs were earned.
Trujillo had a pair of doubles and Steele was credited with one two-bagger.
Freshman Keely Porter blasted a triple for the Panthers and freshman Hailee Ruble joined Sutliff on the long ball list with a solo home run which gave the Panthers six extra base hits for the game.
There were 13 combined errors recorded for the two teams.
Delta started the game with a 4-2 lead after one inning and led 5-4 after two complete innings.
Each team plated three runs in the third marking the last time the Indians would be close with Delta leading 8-7.
The Panthers had an extended bat in the bottom of the fourth and produced five runs to bolt to a commanding 13-7 lead.
Montrose scored singletons in both the sixth and seventh frames to close the final score to 14-9 in favor of the Panthers.
Ruble, who hit her second home run of the season, picked up the win in seven innings of work after allowing 11 hits, nine runs and striking out seven Montrose batters. Montrose senior Madisyn Minerich took the loss.
FC 8, Delta 4
The Panthers could not find a run in four innings of play against Faith Christian's Eagles in Gunnison.
Faith Christian, with the help of numerous miscues by Delta's defense, scored runs in the first three innings for a 3-0 lead. The Panthers tied the game at three in the top of the fifth but watched the Eagles take the lead for good with a single run in the bottom of the fifth.
Four more Faith Christian runs in the sixth gave the Eagles an 8-3 lead going to the final inning of play. Delta picked up one more run with the fourth hit of the game, a double, from Porter.
Delta committed nine errors in the game and could not recover with a spotty offense.
Delta was forced to make a pitching change in the second inning after starter Sami Lane was hit on her right wrist and leg with a line drive. Ruble replaced Lane and held her own the rest of the way in 5.1 innings of work where she allowed seven hits and six runs and struck out five Faith Christian batters.
After the game Delta coach Jerry Sandoval was more pleased than not. "I thought they did really well today. Again ... our biggest problem is staying out of our own way (reference to a number of errors committed by the Panthers)."
There were bright spots in the game for Delta. "Definitely Hailee Ruble would be one of our bright spots after coming off the bench to replace Lane. Another would be Eloise Norfleet coming off the bench and going two for two at the plate, scoring two runs and knocking in a run."
Sandoval is teaching his players not to watch the scoreboard. "When the ump says the game is over, it's over! We want to get the exciting plays that break the other team's heart at the end of a game, not the other way around."
Meeker is shown atop the league leader board with a 1-0 3A District 5 record and 1-1 overall. Cedaredge (1-0, 1-1) is second and Delta is third at 1-0 and 2-4 overall.
The Panthers host Durango this Friday, Sept. 8, for a double header beginning at 3 p.m.
Next Tuesday, Sept. 12, Gunnison is in town for varsity action at 4 p.m. with junior varsity play set for 6 p.m.
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.