|Lady Dragons take 6th in weekend softball tourney|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
HHS softball has a lot to be proud of as they finished in sixth place in the Burlington tournament held Sept. 11-12.
They had a goal to clean up their defense, and for nearly every game, they played solid, according to coach Ashley Clayton. She added the girls continued to hit the ball as well as they did in their season opener against Eaton.
“As they gain more game experience, the mental errors will begin to eliminate themselves,” added Clayton.
Ten teams competed in the two-day tourney, and finishing sixth was a huge step for the Lady Dragons. “The girls made so many improvements, and I believe they learned a lot about their abilities and talents as softball players this weekend,” said coach Clayton.
She pointed out the tournament was a much-needed opportunity.
Finishing 2-2 in initial pool play, the Dragons defeated Akron (5-1) and Wray (12-2), while losing to Platte Canyon (1-9) and a one-pointer to Limon (4-5). Entering the tourney bracket to compete for fifth place, the local girls lost a big one to Rocky Ford (1-15).
While playing for fifth, the Dragons met a bump in a road, said coach Clayton. “The defense was unable to come up with crucial plays when they were needed, and the offensive side of the game for Holyoke was nearly silent.”
While the tournament ended on a sour note, Clayton was quick to note the girls have a lot to be proud of.
Holyoke 5, Akron 1
Holyoke kicked off the Burlington tourney with a 5-1 win over Akron, playing a solid seven-inning game.
The Dragons jumped ahead of Akron early on in the game and played solid error-free defense to hold the Rams to just one run.
Coach Clayton noted the Holyoke players showed a lot of improvement from last week in both the batter’s box and on defense.
Holyoke took a 2-0 lead after one inning and led 4-1 after two. The Dragons added one more in the third, with both teams going scoreless for the rest of the ball game.
Ashley Campbell took the win on the mound, delivering four strike-outs and just one walk.
Laura Gerk led the batting stats, hitting three for four with a double and two RBIs. Campbell was two for three with a double and an RBI; Marci Vasa, two for three with two doubles; Ashley Gragg, two for two with an RBI; Macey Pierce, one for three with an RBI; and Makenzie Ault, one for four.
Holyoke 12, Wray 2
Holyoke took the opportunity to run away with one when they defeated the Wray Eagles 12-2.
The Dragons were able to hit the ball hard into the gaps and move base runners with authority. Coach Clayton pointed out the girls continued to have clean defense, giving up just one error in the first inning.
HHS led 2-1 after one inning of action, then added three runs in the third and six in the fourth for a commanding 11-1 advantage. When both teams put one on the board in the fifth, the game ended by the 10-run rule with Holyoke taking the 12-2 victory.
Pierce pitched for the Dragons, delivering three strikeouts and walking just two batters.
Pierce also led the offense, hitting three for three with one double and an RBI. Vasa was three for four with an RBI; Karci Lockwood, two for three with a double and an RBI; Laura Gerk, one for three with two RBIs; Chandler Gerk, one for three with an RBI; and Brittany Durbin, one for four.
Holyoke 1, Platte Canyon 9
Campbell pitched against the Platte Canyon Huskies, who proved to be tough hitters. They scored nine runs off nine hits and one Holyoke error—serving HHS with its first loss of the Burlington tourney.
The Huskies jumped to a 4-0 first-inning lead, with no runs crossing the plate until the bottom of the sixth when Ault scored Holyoke’s lone run off a single and an error by Platte Canyon.
However, the Huskies came out to score five runs in the top of the seventh to claim the 9-1 win.
“This was the third game of the day and proved to be the toughest game of the day for Holyoke,” said coach Clayton.
Ault, Laura Gerk and Gragg were all one for three in batting, while Chandler Gerk was one for two.
Holyoke 4, Limon 5
Holyoke was matched evenly with Limon and showed a lot of fight in the one-point loss, praised coach Clayton.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning, then Limon went ahead 3-1 in the second.
It was an exciting sixth inning for the Dragons when the girls took a 4-3 lead. However, the Badgers answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to sit on top of the 5-4 score.
Holyoke had problems on defense for the first time in the tournament, giving up four errors.
Campbell pitched for HHS, delivering six strike-outs and only two walks.
Batting stats showed Pierce, three for four with an RBI; Campbell, one for one with an RBI; Vasa, one for three; Molly Fricke, one for two with two RBIs.
Holyoke 1, Rocky Ford 15
Campbell started on the mound for the Dragons against Rocky Ford, delivering one strike-out and giving up eight hits. Jordan Zeiler went in to pitch for the remaining of the game.
Coach Clayton said the Meloneers continued to deliver hit after hit against the HHS pitching staff. Zeiler gave up nine hits and no walks.
Rocky Ford tallied five, three, two and five runs in the first four innings, while Lockwood made Holyoke’s only trip across home plate in the second. The Meloneers took the 15-1 win in five innings.
Holyoke played two JV games against Yuma Monday, Sept. 14 and hosted Akron in their homecoming game Tuesday, Sept. 15. All will be reported in next week’s Enterprise.
Holyoke will travel to Brush next Thursday, Sept. 24 for a 4 p.m. ball game.