Summit softball rocks two wins at festival
SILVERTHORNE – If one players’ line reflected the day Summit High School softball had on Friday, it was senior Amy Clark’s.
Clark, who plays center field, went 2-for-2, scored four runs, walked four times and drove in three runs, as the Tigers (3-1) opened the Blue River Softball Festival with a pair of convincing wins.
In the first game, a 13-1 win over St. Mary’s Academy, Summit opened up a gaping 4-0 lead in the first inning. In the tournament format, each game is limited to 1 hour, 15 minutes, meaning a good start might be good enough for a win.
“I think we’re starting to get our hitting back,” said Clark about the progression of being 1-hit in the team’s opener Aug. 29 to slugging out 22 runs in Friday’s doubleheader. “We have to go out and get runs right away.”
Senior Brittany Ellsworth and Clark started the first inning with walks, junior Shannon Buhler reached on an error and junior Caitlin Schmidt reached on a fielder’s choice, which scored Buhler one pitch after Clark scored on a passed ball. Schmidt and senior Megen Skulski would also cross the plate in the inning.
“The girls are swinging,” Tigers head coach Shelly Koehler said. “They’re always swinging.”
Schmidt, the Tigers’ ace, would take it from there. She allowed just two hits in the game and struck out six, before freshman Megan Doughty took the pitching duties in the fourth and struck out two.
The Tigers put up eight runs in the third, all with two outs, as seven straight batters reached base and scored. A two-run double from Ellsworth, followed by an RBI single from Clark, gave the Tigers an easy 10-run-rule victory.
In the second, Summit jumped out to another big, first-inning lead against Eagle Valley. The Tigers’ first six batters reached base and scored, aided by a two-run single from senior Mackenzie Voorhees.
Voorhees went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the 9-0 victory.
Eagle Valley, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going against Schmidt. The junior, who played with many players from Eagle Valley this summer, had no problem making old friends take the quick trip back to the dugout.
“It was weird,” Schmidt said. “You want to go root for them and then you realize you can’t.”
Schmidt allowed just two hits against the Devils while striking out five.
Summit threatened to break the game wide open in the second inning, but Devils center fielder Sara Lybarger snagged a long drive off the bat of Buhler to contain the threat.
Buhler, who normally catches, moved to shortstop after breaking her thumb in Wednesday’s win over Middle Park. The injury didn’t seem to stop the junior, who played flawless defense and scored three runs on the day.
Senior Brittany Warner also had a big day, going 2-for-4 and scoring two runs.
All day, the Tigers stole base after base, forcing their opponents into throwing errors.
“I’m an aggressive base coach,” Koehler said. “We have a lot of heads-up base runners. Every once in a while, we’ll get someone thrown out. I’m willing to take that risk.”
The team with the best record in the festival will take first. Tiebreakers include head-to-head competition and run differential, meaning the Tigers’ 2-0 start, with a 22-1 scorecard, has them right where they need to be.
Today, Summit plays Aspen at 10:30 a.m., Rifle at noon and Platte Canyon at 4:15 p.m.
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