Despite a 13-hit attack, Delta's Panthers could not contain the bats of Basalt in an 11-8 loss that took eight innings to complete.
Playing in its new Class 2A league, Delta was able to stymie the Longhorns for much of the game but didn't have enough offense to finish the deal. Basalt outhit the Panthers 14-13 in the win. Delta, officially, gave away valuable runs by committing six errors in the game.
Delta's Lily Lockhart got the start and carried the Panthers to the fifth inning with a 2-0 lead. Jenna Sutliff started Delta's first inning with a single and Saydee Culver reached on an error. Megan Sandoval's fielder's choice scored Sutliff and Lockhart looped a double to center that scored Culver.
The Longhorns found some bats that produced a three-run fifth frame to take a 3-2 lead.
The wheels came off Delta's defense in the sixth inning and Basalt capitalized with another five runs to take an 8-2 lead. Delta managed to score twice in the bottom of the sixth cutting its deficit to 8-4. Sarah Parker started the Panthers' half of the inning with a single and later scored on Alyssa Trujillo's double. Culver's fielder's choice plated Trujillo accounting for Delta's two runs in the frame.
The Panthers held Basalt scoreless in the top of the seventh and then rallied for four runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 8-8 and force extra innings. Delta's seventh inning had four hits and a runner interference that would have ended the game with a Delta victory. Instead, the game went to extra innings.
The Longhorns found more offense in the eighth inning and plated three runs to steal an 11-8 conference victory over the Panthers.
Delta coach Steve Reiher was disappointed with the outcome but understands the game has cruel turns from time to time. "We just didn't swing well today. Had some opportunities but just didn't get the needed hits in key situations. It's back to work."
Trujillo's three hits, including a pair of doubles, produced three RBIs. Lockhart also had a three-hit day with a double.
Sophomore Sami Lane came on for Delta in the seventh inning and took the loss. Lockhart worked six innings while giving up eight hits and eight runs (only two were earned) while walking five batters and striking out five. Lane gave up three hits and three runs in her stint on the mound.
The Panthers were in Eaton for tournament action over the weekend and played in Montrose on Aug. 30. Delta plays in Gunnison and takes on Faith Christian on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Saturday's results from Eaton indicate struggles with the offense and defense as the Panthers lost all three games played over the weekend. Elizabeth defeated Delta 14-9, Rocky Ford won 12-10 and La Junta won 7-1.
Reiher's comments for the weekend games explains how Delta played in Eaton. "Actually, other than La Junta, we swung it well. We just left a few on base at crucial times. Right now our defense is bad. We clean that up and we win at least two over there (Eaton) and gives us a chance to win three. We are young but we are going to have to grow in a hurry. We can't keep making the same mistakes over and over. Tomorrow is a new day."
Against Elizabeth, the Panthers had 12 hits with Lane's 3-4 day leading to three RBIs with a double included.
Sutliff is coming around as a sophomore and went 2-5 with a home run. Lockhart's bat was also alive with two hits and three RBIs.
Kestra Arrington and Sarah Parker had doubles for the Panthers.
Lane took the loss for Delta (0-2).
Delta's second game was against Rocky Ford. Delta hitters banged out 13 hits with Lockhart sending two balls over the fence for six RBIs and Sandoval knocking one out of the park.
Sutliff stayed hot with four hits and an RBI and Culver was 3-5 with an RBI.
Lockhart took the loss (0-1) giving up three hits and nine runs (only two were earned). The Panthers committed nine errors in the game.
Delta's final game of the weekend was against La Junta. The Panthers trailed 6-1 after four innings. Sandoval gained ground in hitting stats with another long ball and an RBI after a 2-3 day at the plate.
Lockhart took the loss bringing her record to 0-2 in the young season.
Delta's second annual "Kickoff to Christmas" takes place Saturday, Nov. 25. This event is sponsored by the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce and First Colorado National Bank.