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Panthers stun Bruins; winning streak at four

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Photo by Wayne Crick Delta senior Lily Lockhart rounds second base and is congratulated by the Bruins' Shayna Dale after hitting a grand slam home run in the fifth inning of a game played last week. Lockhart hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning.

Delta's softball team picked up some serious ground this past week with four wins in 3A District 5 play. The week began with Gunnison coming to town on Sept. 26 and ended with a doubleheader against the visiting Cortez Panthers on Friday, Sept. 30. In between the start, and finish of the past week, Delta played Cedaredge's Bruins for the second time this season. All four games resulted in wins for the Panthers, improving their record to 9-7 overall and 6-3 in league play.

Delta 9, Gunnison 2

The Panthers only had six hits in the game with Brianna Sprout's two-RBI day leading the way. Jenna Sutliff and Sami Lane chipped in an RBI apiece helping Delta take a six-hit performance to a 9-2 win over Gunnison.

Sutliff had two of the six Delta hits with Lily Lockhart and Saydee Culver hitting doubles for the winners.

Lockhart picked up her sixth win in the circle against five losses.

Delta 13, Bruins 5

The Panthers avenged an earlier season loss to Cedaredge (13-3, Sept. 15) by turning the tables on the Bruins with a 13-5 win at The Field of Dreams on Sept. 29.

Cedaredge (7-2, 13-5) was in control of the game through five innings of play holding a 5-2 lead. Delta's bats came to life in the top of the sixth inning and the Panthers put five runs on the scoreboard to take a 7-5 lead.

Delta used a grand slam home run off the bat of Lockhart to take a 6-5 lead in the fifth inning. Megan Sandoval followed Lockhart with a solo shot and a 7-5 lead.

The Panthers found their bats had remained hot in the sixth inning with Delta putting up another six runs, including a three-run blast from Lockhart and a solo four-bagger from freshman Makayla Kortz, her first home run of her varsity career.

Lockhart generated seven RBIs off her two dingers and scored twice herself. For Lockhart, it was the fourth time this season the senior power hitter has had two home runs in a single game. She leads the 3A District 5 League with 11 home runs with Sutliff close behind with eight and both hold those rankings in Class 3A statistics for home runs.

Sutliff and Saydee Culver had three hits each in the win and Shyanne Steele finished the game with two hits.

Cedaredge's Brittany Kendall was 2-3 with a run scored, an RBI and a double. Shayna Dale went 1-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Nicole Miller, Josie Hiatt and Kambry Hall had an RBI each for the Bruins.

Lockhart (7-5) was the winning pitcher and Kendall the loser.

Game 1
Delta 4, Cortez 3

Cortez, 1-6 and 4-10, was determined in its efforts to stay with Delta in the opening game of doubleheader action.

Delta eased in front on a 2-0 first inning and added singletons in the second and third frames for a 4-0 lead. The visiting Panthers made the game interesting with a three-run third inning and Delta took a 4-3 lead the rest of the way.

Culver scored a run and knocked in two for the Panthers while Sandoval had a double in two at bats and an RBI. Sutliff had a double in the game for Delta.

Lockhart was in the circle for her eighth win against five losses on the season. She went seven innings, allowed two hits, three runs, allowed five walks and struck out 11 batters for the victory.

Game 2
Delta 12, Cortez 2

Sami Lane earned a win (1-2) in the circle in game two against Cortez. She went five innings and allowed five hits for just two runs in the victory.

Delta's bats still had smoke coming from them as the Panthers outhit Cortez 13-5 with Lockhart and Sutliff hitting home runs. Lockhart hit her second grand slam bomb in the past week (first coming against Cedaredge on Sept. 29) and finished the game with four RBIs. Sutliff was 4-4, scored four times, hit two doubles and a home run for a three-RBI game.

Sprout was 3-3 at the plate and scored two times with Sandoval hitting safely in three at bats and knocking in one run. Culver scored twice and had an RBI as well for the Panthers.

The Panthers are nearing the end of the regular season with three games left to play. A trip to Basalt set up a rematch with the Longhorns, an 11-8 (eight innings) winner in the first game of the season for Delta. Basalt leads the league with a 10-1 and 13-2 mark.

A doubleheader with Aspen is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Delta.

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