Delta High School's softball schedule is hectic to say the least. Last week was a five-game schedule and another five-game stint was scheduled for the second week in a row. The Panthers were in Palisade on Tuesday, Sept. 8, where they scored a 19-8 win in six innings.
On Friday, Sept. 11, Delta played a doubleheader against the visiting Durango Demons and scored wins of 17-7 and 20-2.
A Saturday doubleheader against Cortez produced a split in games with Delta winning the first contest 12-6 and Cortez the second game by a 12-8 decision.
Delta 19, Palisade 8
The Panthers began the week with success when they held off a surging Bulldogs' nine to win a 19-8 decision in 4A WSL play in Palisade.
Freshman Jenna Sutliff showed why Delta coach Steve Reiher has the talented player in the lineup. All Sutliff did was hit two home runs and a double for five RBIs. Sutliff also scored four runs for Delta.
Sutliff wasn't the only Panther who had good days at the plate. Junior Saydee Culver was 3-5 and one RBI while senior teammates Hannah Easter, Keilee Womack and Rachel Huerkamp picked up two hits apiece for the winners.
Easter was the pitcher of record for Delta with 6.2 innings of work with three hits allowed, eight runs and 11 strike outs.
Delta 17, Durango 7
Lily Lockhart, the Player of the Game for Delta, had two base hits in the opener against Durango and both were home runs, raising her season total to seven. Megan Sandoval also cleared the fence to end the game in the sixth inning with the 10-run rule in effect after Sandoval's bomb made the score 17-7.
All Sutliff has done to date is go 15 of 30 at the plate for 2015 for a .500 batting average with 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored. Not bad for a freshman.
Against Durango in the first game Sutliff led the hit parade for the Panthers with three hits in four at bats, including a double. Nadia Hall and Lockhart finished with two hits apiece.
Easter was the winning pitcher for Delta in the opener against the Demons. She had seven strike outs in the game.
Delta 20, Durango 2
An 11-run first inning more than set the tone for how the game would end. Delta scored two times in the second frame and ended the game with a seven-run third inning after the Demons had scored their second run in the top of the third.
Seven Delta players hit safely against the Demons, including Womack's third dinger of the season. Lockhart had a double, while Easter, Huerkamp, Hall, Sandoval and Culver all had singles.
Delta 12, Cortez 6
A big game for Lockhart helped Delta overcome a 6-3 deficit for a 12-6 victory in a 4A non-conference softball game. Lockhart hit two home runs and drove in six runs in the win at home.
Cortez scored twice in the first inning and three times in the third for a 5-3 advantage. One more run in the fourth had Cortez ahead 6-3. The score changed quickly in the bottom of the fourth as Delta scored six times to take a 9-6 lead.
Three runs in the fifth shifted momentum to Delta, and Cortez did not recover in a 12-6 win for Delta's Panthers.
Easter picked up the win, her fourth of the season, for Delta.
Cortez 12, Delta 8
Delta started slow and stayed slow as it dropped a non-league game to the visiting Cortez Panthers, 12-8.
Cortez took advantage of Delta miscues to jump to an early 4-0 lead with two runs in each of the first two innings.
A five-run fourth boosted Cortez's lead to 9-0 before the host Panthers plated two runs on a home run by Womack.
Each team scored twice in the fifth for an 11-2 Cortez lead. Delta gained some ground with three runs in the sixth after Cortez had scored once in the top half of the inning.
Delta scored one run in the bottom of the seventh and left runners on base, leaving the score at 12-8.
Sandoval and Lockhart paced Delta's offense with two hits each while Womack's home run netted two RBIs.
The Panthers played second-place Eagle Valley, 1-0 and 2-2, on Tuesday, Sept. 15 with those results being reported in next week's paper.
Delta will host tournament play on Friday and Saturday and play two games each day. On Friday the Panthers face Durango, 1-5, in a 3 p.m. contest and then play Montrose, 2-3, at 5 p.m.
Saturday's opponents for the Panthers include Gunnison, 5-3, at 11 a.m. and Cedaredge, 5-1, at 1 p.m.
An early game next week finds Delta at Rifle on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m.