Two swings of the bat and Delta had a 7-6 lead over the visiting Meeker Cowboys in game one of a 2A WSL doubleheader softball encounter. The Panthers would add one more to its total and finished the game with an 8-6 win. Game two went the other direction as Meeker suprised the Panthers for a 7-5 decision and salvaged a split.
Meeker (2-4, 4-7) is currently listed fifth in the 3A District 5 league standings. The Panthers (2-3, 5-7) are third behind Cedaredge (6-1, 9-4) and league leaders Basalt (9-1, 12-1).
In game one, Delta had to come from behind to salvage the win with a pair of home runs from sophomore Jenna Sutliff and senior Lily Lockhart. Sutliff hit her four-bagger with two on to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead after three innings of play.
After Meeker plated four runs in the middle innings, Lily Lockhart was batting with bases loaded and no outs when she hit a towering home run to left-center field to take a 7-6 lead.
Delta tacked on one more run to earn the 8-6 win in game one.
Sophomore Mikayla Kortz had three hits in four at bats but the big damage was done by Sutliff and Lockhart. Sutliff scored two runs with a double and a home run for three RBIs and Lockhart was 1-3 with one run scored and four RBIs. Sami Lane accounted for the eighth Delta run.
Lockhart picked up the win (her fifth) after relieving Lane in the fourth inning.
Game two was another close contest with the Cowboys dashing Delta's hopes of a sweep in a 7-5 decision.
Lockhart took the loss (5-5) for Delta giving up seven hits and seven runs while striking out five Cowboys.
The Panthers were limited to just four hits, one of which was Sutliff's second home run of the day. Sarah Parker had one RBI and Megan Sandoval had one hit in four plate appearances for an RBI. Lockhart was 1-1 and scored a run in the loss and Shyanne Steele was 1-2 and scored a run for the Panthers.
Friday's home runs by Sutliff and Lockhart leave the hard-hitting pair ranked second and first, respectively, in home runs in both 3A District 5 and Class 3A rankings.
The Panthers finished the game with six errors to help Meeker earn the split.
Delta had an early game this week with Gunnison's Cowboys in town on Monday, Sept. 26 with a rematch against Cedaredge set for Thursday afternoon.
The Panthers are in Basalt on Tuesday, Oct. 4 for a 4 p.m. contest hoping to avenge an earlier 11-8 loss to the Longhorns.
The seventh annual Eckert Crane Days, the annual viewing of the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado's West Slope, will be March 16-18. Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BCAS) will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, 9 to 11 a.m. each day, to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.