Panthers clinch 3rd 4A WSL softball title
By Wayne Crick
Published Thursday, October 8, 2015 7:49 am
Photo by Wayne Crick Delta senior Keilee Womack throws out a Cedaredge runner as the Panthers' second baseman, Saydee Culver, covers first base and waits for the throw.
With a 5-0 4A WSL record, and 14-4 overall season mark, the Delta Panthers won their third straight softball title after defeating Palisade 12-2 in Delta last Friday.
Prior to that win for a league title, Delta faced Cedaredge on Sept. 28 at the Field of Dreams. The Bruins had Delta on the ropes with a 5-3 lead late in the game before a rally by the Panthers produced an 11-6 non-conference win.
Delta 11, Cedaredge 6
In a game for Delta County bragging rights, the Class 4A Delta Panthers and 3A District 5 Cedaredge met at the Field of Dreams for a rematch of a 7-6 Delta win on Sept. 19.
The Bruins were more than up to the task and worked their way to a 5-3 lead after four innings of play.
Delta took the lead in the top half of the second inning after junior Megan Sandoval reached base on a double and then came home on Rachel Huerkamp's double. The Bruins answered with a run of their own when Lacey Rodriguez reached base on an error and scored on Mykayla Wil-kerson's single.
In the third frame Delta freshman Jenna Sutliff reached base on a single and later scored on a passed ball that moved Keilee Womack's courtesy runner after a walk, Sarah Parker, to third. A fielder's choice plated Parker giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
Samantha Galley grounded into a fielder's choice and was safe at first. Galley scored on a throw-in from the outfield on a single by Brittany Kendall leaving the Panthers ahead 2-1 going to the third.
Galley made a diving catch of a Nadia Hall line drive to center field to save extra bases, and eventually enabled the Bruins to hold Delta scoreless in the inning.
The Bruins had a pair of base runnners on when Galley came to the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Her long homer over the centerfield fence accounted for three runs and pushed the Bruins to a 5-3 advantage.
Neither team scored in the fifth inning.
Delta found its bats, and some offense, in the fifth. When the dust had settled, the Panthers had scored six times and owned a 9-6 lead following a single run by the Bruins in the bottom of the inning.
Another two runs by Delta in the seventh completed game-scoring with Delta claiming an 11-6 decision.
From the fifth inning on, Delta managed to hit three home runs on its way to the victory. Sutliff, Lily Lockhart and Sandoval all had home runs for Delta in that time span.
Keilee Womack picked up the win for Delta while Rodriguez took the loss for Cedaredge.
Batting leaders in the game for Delta included Huerkamp, three for five with an RBI; Sandoval, three for four with five RBIs, including a home run and a double; Lily Lockhart, three for four with a double and a home run and an RBI, and Sutliff with two hits in three at bats with a home run.
Galley led the Bruins with her two for four plate performance with three RBIs and a home run. Kendall was two for four and an RBI.
Delta 12, Palisade 2
Last Friday's contest against Palisade started well for the Panthers as they scored three times in the first inning and added another run in the second to take a 3-2 lead to the third.
inning, Delta took control of the game with a five-run explosion in the fifth. The Panthers ended the game with a three-run fifth inning that made the final score 12-2.
Lockhart was four for four with three runs scored, two doubles, her 13th home run and three RBIs.
Womack went two for three at the plate with two doubles, her seventh home run and three RBIs.
Huerkamp also had a two-hit game in three at bats that produced two runs scored, a double and an RBI.
Womack was the winning pitcher and leads the Panthers pitching staff with an 8-2 record.
The Panthers will play their last regular season game, on homecoming, in Delta against Eagle Valley's Devils on Oct. 9 at 2 p.m.