The 2015 softball season got underway for many of the state's prep programs. Cedaredge's Bruins began their season at The Field of Dreams against Meeker last Friday. After a 1-0 start for Meeker, the Bruins put the clamps on and stymied the Cowboys the rest of the way to record an 11-4 victory.
The Bruins traveled to Cortez last Saturday and came home with a 17-6 victory.
In early rankings Cedaredge is shown as the number six 3A team, and Meeker was listed 14th by MaxPreps.
Bruins 11, Meeker 4
The Cowboys got off to an early lead in the first inning ... and then Cedaredge came to bat. Chey Christian and Brittney Thliveris delivered back-to-back two-RBI hits to ignite Cedaredge's offense in a four-run inning. The Bruins had a 4-1 lead going to the second inning and never looked back afterward.
After a one-run second inning for Meeker, the Bruins put up two runs in a rally that began after two outs. Walks to Hailey Lofley and Shayna Dale enabled Cedaredge to score two runs on a wild pitch and a single by Kelsey Stroud.
Neither team threatened in the third with three-up and three-down innings being recorded by each.
Meeker repeated the three up and three down activity from the third-inning play, keeping the score at 6-2 with the Bruins coming to bat.
Dale began the bottom of the fourth with a walk and Brittany Kendall stroked a single. Stroud's fly to left field was dropped, allowing Dale to score and Kendall to reach third. A fly-out by Christian and a ground-out by Thliveris ended the inning, leaving the Bruins ahead 7-2.
Grace Bradfield drew a walk in the top of the fifth and eventually scored on an error, making the score 7-3.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Mykkayla Wilkerson, Katie Hyke, Lofley and Dale crossed home plate, boosting Cedaredge's lead to 11-3. Hyke and Dale reached with base hits while Wilkerson reached by way of a walk and Lofley on an error.
With an 11-3 lead, the Bruins played to maintain their lead heading into the sixth inning. A double off the bat of freshman Megan Shelton led to Meeker's final run of the game with a Jasmine Patterson single.
Cedaredge coach Matt Hall selected Brittany Kendall as the Player of the Game for her play. Kendall was the winning pitcher with seven innings pitched, three hits with seven strikeouts and four runs allowed. Kendall, however, gave up nine walks to Meeker's hitters. She was 2-3 with two RBIs.
Other top hitters for Cedaredge included Christian with a double in three at bats and two RBIs; Thliveris with one hit in four at bats and two RBIs; and Dale who was 1-4 with two RBIs.
Meeker was limited to just two hits, including a double by Shelton.
Cedaredge left a total of 25 runners on base against Meeker and the Cowboys left six.
Bruins 17, Cortez 6
In Cortez, the Bruins were roughed up in the game's first two innings. Cedaredge started with three runs in the top of the first frame but entered second-inning play trailing 4-3.
Cedaredge failed to score in the second inning and the Panthers added to their lead with two more runs for a 6-3 lead.
The Bruins showed signs of coming back in the third inning with a run that cut Cortez's lead to 6-4.
After failing to score in the bottom of the third, Cortez entered the fourth inning with a narrow two-run advantage. That was about to change, and in a hurry. The Bruins put together a furious rally that produced 13 runs to take a 17-6 lead. "The girls fought back with a lot of patience (not getting the strike zone they wanted on defense) and heart. Cortez is a pretty solid team, but they seemed to fall apart when our bats started coming alive in the fourth," noted coach Hall.
Cortez did not threaten the rest of the way and the game's final score was 17-6.
As in last Friday's game against Meeker, the Bruins left a large number, 20, of stranded baserunners.
Hall selected Wilkerson as the game's Player of the Game. She was 2-2 with two RBIs and scored twice.
Christian, Dale, Galley and Kendall all had three hits for the winners. Dale had a double and a triple with Stroud adding a double, as did Galley.
Christian had four RBIs and Stroud and Kendall knocked in three runs each. Joining Wilkerson with two RBIs were Dale and Lofley.
Cedaredge out hit the Panthers 18-4 on its way to the win.
Kendall started on the mound for the Bruins and gave way to Lacey Rodriguez after one and a third innings. Kendall allowed three hits and six runs while on the mound. Rodriguez, seeing her first action of the season, gave up just one hit and no runs in 3.2 innings of action. She struck out five batters. Rodriguez went on to pick up the victory.
Cedaredge will be in Gunnison on Saturday, Sept. 5 where they will participate in the Gunnison Tournament. The Bruins face Faith Christian at 10 a.m. in their first game and takes on Gunnison at 12 p.m. in game two.