Tigers hook pirates with solid pitching, hitting
SILVERTHORNE – In a way, Summit High School junior Caitlin Schmidt can relate to the music industry.
As record executives attack kids pirating music on the Internet, Schmidt went after the Pirates from Englewood in Thursday’s Class 4A Jeffco League game. The Tigers’ ace struck out 11, pitched a two-hitter, and helped her squad improve to 3-1 in the league and 9-2 overall.
After eight straight wins, Summit fell to Elizabeth Tuesday, 14-4.
“We had a nose dive and came back with class,” Tigers head coach Shelly Koehler said. “We’re able to come back, and not all my teams have done that. We don’t get our heads down.”
After Schmidt struck out four in the top of the first (one reached on a passed ball third strike), Summit freshman Nichole Mason led off the Tigers frame by slapping a single to left. Tigers catcher Shannon Buhler slammed a triple to the center-field wall, scoring Mason.
The Pirates threatened in the second by loading the bases, but Buhler stepped in with the catch of the day. The catcher went full extension for a bunt in front of home plate, made the catch and tagged out the runner from third, who had no idea what had happened.
In the third inning, the Pirates did touch Schmidt for two runs on a two-out single. But, like Koehler said, her team has a knack for comebacks.
Senior Brittany Ellsworth led off with a single, and Buhler followed with a long double to center, scoring Ellsworth. Schmidt reached on an error, senior Amy Clark reached on a fielder’s choice and, with two outs, sophomore Cissy Daniels knocked a two-run single of her own.
“We’ve talked about keeping our focus and starting well,” Ellsworth said. “We try to get off to a good start, instead of waking up in the third inning.”
Schmidt settled down the rest of the way, allowing just four baserunners in the final four innings.
At one point, she had the Pirates so mixed up with quick pitches, two batters were hit in the hand trying to swing.
It also caused the Englewood coach to complain.
But, alas, this was all part of the plan. Buhler had noticed the umpire wasn’t giving courtesy time to the batters, so she advised Schmidt to use it to the Tigers’ advantage.
“It’s happened to us and we’ve adjusted well,” Koehler said. “The umpire didn’t have his hand up, so the pitcher could pitch.”
Megen Skulski and Brittany Warner also had hits for the Tigers.
Summit, which trails Elizabeth, Conifer and Ralston Valley in the league standings, plays Alameda Saturday at 10 a.m at the Blue River Fields in Silverthorne.
Ryan Slabaugh can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at email@example.com.
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