While long road trips can sometimes have an adverse effect teams, a 194-mile drive on Aug. 28 did slow down the Montezuma Cortez High School softball team as it defeated Alamosa, 22-4.
Among the keys to the lopsided victory were impressive hitting performances by numerous players, including Morgan Short, who slugged an inside-the-park home run, and Mandy McAfee, who reached base five times and scored five runs. Hailey Veach also reached base five times and drilled a double.
“It was a good game,” M-CHS manager Brittney Whiteman said. “The girls really came out and hit. We started out slow in the first inning, but after that, we got the bats going. We work a lot on hitting in practice and I want us to not be afraid to hit.”
While the Panthers bats hummed and the runs kept coming, M-CHS pitchers Presley Frost and Taylor Comisky excelled on the mound. Frost took the ball to start the game for M-CHS and allowed four runs over three innings of work. Comisky entered the game in the fourth inning and did not allow a run during the final two frames.
“Presley pitched well,” Whiteman said. “The first inning, we started a little bit slow, but after that, she kind of got on it. She has a lot of different pitches, which makes it harder to hit off her. Taylor also pitched really well, and although there were times that she would get to a full count, she would get (opposing hitters) to hit into an out or strikeout.”
Prior to its most recent victory over Alamosa, M-CHS lost a season-opening doubleheader to Meeker on Aug. 18. The Panthers rebounded from the early-season setback with a 16-0 home victory over Alamosa on Aug. 21. M-CHS’ record currently stands at 2-2 on the year.
“I feel that we’re moving in the right direction,” Whiteman said. “Every day, our players are improving defensively and offensively. I’m really proud of the girls for the way that they bounced back. We had some tough losses early, and not we’ve had some big wins.”
Next up for M-CHS will be a home doubleheader against Basalt on Sept. 1 and a rivalry game at home against Durango High School on Sept. 4.
“The next few games are very important for us because they will help determine where we end up in the end-of-the-season standings,” Whiteman said. “Basalt is a good team, and I’m excited to see what we can do (this weekend).