Times Staff Writer
GHS Softball — With a runner on base and the game tied 7-7, Gunnison High School head coach Leslie DiLorenzo sent Anna Gallowich to second to pinch run for Melita Ferchau as Violet Fry walked to the batter's box.
Ferchau had already driven home Kyla Engleman on a double to tie the game against Florence High School at home last Wednesday. The Florence pitcher got the sign from the catcher, went through her wind up and delivered the ball to the plate hoping to get a much-needed strike.
That strike could have come. However, Fry stood strong in the batter's box and smacked a double to right-center field. Gallowich raced around the bases and slid into home safely — helping the Cowboys earn a dramatic, 8-7 comeback victory.
“It felt really good to help my team win the game,” said Fry. “Especially after having such a long close game.”
While the game started off slow for both teams — remaining scoreless after the first inning — things started to go GHS’ way in the second.
The Huskies had an opportunity to get on the board in the top of the second inning with a runner on third base and no outs in the inning. Yet, the Cowboys’ defense stepped up in a big way.
Engleman recorded her third strikeout of the game for the first out, while the GHS defense helped her record the next two outs of the inning. The momentum the Cowboys created carried over to offense in the bottom of the second.
Britt Propernick drew a walk to start the inning, which set her up to steal second base on the next pitch. Engleman then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to get Propernick to third.
Propernick came around to score on a passed ball, giving the Cowboys a 1-0 lead.
Ferchau, Fry and Rena Elfenbein also reached base on three straight walks, with Ferchau later coming around to score on a Kaitlyn Williams walk.
Ashleigh Porter drove in the final two runs of the inning on a fielder's choice — helping GHS take a 4-0 lead.
The Huskies’ offense got going in the top of the third and fourth innings — while the Cowboys’ offense cooled down. Florence scored four runs, tying the tame until the top of the sixth inning.
After a spectacular double play — from Propernick, who caught a line drive at third base and then fired it to Ferchau at first — Florence smacked a home run, taking a 5-4 lead.
The Huskies lead didn’t last long. GHS regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
Williams reached base on the single with one out and was bunted over to third base by Porter, who raced down the first base line and beat the throw. Both runners came around to score later in the inning on two separate passed balls, giving the Cowboys a 6-5 lead.
Florence battled back once again and with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. They scored two runs — reclaiming the lead at 7-6 — before falling to GHS in the bottom of the seventh.
The Cowboys picked up their second and third wins of the season on Friday. They traveled to Colorado Springs to face James Irwin High School in a double header.
GHS dominated in both games, mercying the Jaguars 25-9 in game one, while coming back to win the second game by a score of 15-7.
The Cowboys nearly duplicated last season’s stellar early start to the season — in which they notched a 4-0 record. However, on Monday, Delta High School did just enough to walk away with a close 23-22 victory in Gunnison.
“Our spirits are high right now,” said head coach DiLorenzo. “We are practicing hard, and we need to just play Cowboy softball.”
GHS will be back on the diamond tomorrow, Aug. 30. They travel to Cortez to face Montezuma-Cortez in a double header starting at 2 p.m.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)