During the time that she played for the Montezuma-Cortez High School team from 2005 until 2008, first-year M-CHS manager Brittney Whiteman never lost a softball game to Durango High School.
Therefore, when the Panthers blasted the Demons by a score of 10-0 on Sept. 4, Whiteman could hardly contain her excitement.
“Our girls were excited for the (Durango) game, and I was excited for the (Durango) game,” Whiteman said. “The rivalry has been going on for so many years, and the rivalry is still there for me. It was a good win for us. I told the girls to keep feeding off it.”
Among the keys to the big victory was an impressive six-inning pitching performance by Presley Frost, who struck out six Durango batters and did not allow a run. Mixing a strong fastball with well-located off-speed pitches, Frost kept Durango batters on their heels throughout the afternoon and earned praise from Whiteman.
“(Frost) pitched really good, and although we had a slow start, our defense came up big for us,” said Whiteman. “Defense is one of our strengths, and our play in the field got us out of a few jams.”
While Frost flummoxed opposing batters from the mound, the M-CHS offense hummed along while consistently putting pressure on Durango’s defense. Alyssa Cornett and Taylor Comisky came through with three hits each for M-CHS, while Cornett drove in a team-high three runs. Maddie McAfee and Taylor Comisky also drove in runs for M-CHS.
Our batters started out slow because the girls were used to faster pitches than the ones that Durango was throwing,” Whiteman said. “Our pitching machine is set to 60 or 65 mph, and when we play against teams with slower pitchers, it’s hard. We have a lot of good hitters though, and they can adjust. I just told them to be patient.”
Thanks to M-CHS’ big win over Durango, the team improved to 4-2 on the season. The Panthers have won four straight games since dropping their first two games of the season to Meeker, and the team’s confidence is at an all-time high.
“We’ve been playing well, and I’m hopeful that we can keep it going,” Whiteman said. “We have been improving every time we step onto the field, and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead for (our team).”