After picking up wins over The Classical Academy and Mesa Ridge at the Pueblo County Tournament last weekend, the Montezuma-Cortez softball team was swept by Basalt in its home-opening double header on Saturday.
The Longhorns jumped out to an early 4-0 against the Lady Panthers in the first inning of game one. And although junior catcher Payton Keith got the Lady Panthers going with a double and later scored in the bottom half of the inning, the Longhorns would pour on 11 runs in the top of the second to take a commanding 15-1 lead.
M-CHS responded in the bottom of the second with a lead-off single by Dannika Noyes, who was driven in on a triple by Trinity McCain. And then Alyssa Cornett and Keith scored later in the frame to close the gap to 15-5.
The Panthers defense settled down in the third and fourth inning to hold the Longhorns within a run. And after going down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third, M-CHS rattled off three runs in the fourth to pull within seven.
But in the fifth inning, Basalt tacked on 6 runs and then held M-CHS scoreless to go on to a 21-8 win.
“We’ve just got to make adjustments and go from there,” head coach Angelo Topaha said. “Just too many errors to many outs that were given that we shouldn’t have. A lot of missed plays, we just gave them what they needed.”
Switching the home and away batting order for the second contest, M-CHS sophomore Morgan Short got things started with a laser into the right field corner for an inside-the-park home run to give the Panthers an early 1-0 advantage.
Keith singled and scored in the third, and then Short followed suit in the fourth inning for the Panthers’ third run. But Basalt scored a run in the first inning to even the game at 1-1, and then tallied four in the second, five in the third and four in the fourth to secure a 13-3 win.
“In game two we made a few fielding changes and the girls had less errors than in the first game,” said Topaha. “But they’re a pretty good team and they hit the ball well.”
Topaha was pleased with his team’s bunting, something they’d been working in practice the week prior.
“As far as bunts, we did pretty good,” he said. “The first game it was a faster pitcher and then they put in a slow pitcher and it was hard to catch up with that. They just knocked us way off course. And of course after they beat us down it was kind of hard to bounce back from it.”
Basalt moves to 9-1 after the sweep and M-CHS falls to 2-6.
The Lady Panthers are back in action on Tuesday at home against Durango (3-5).