Panthers softball team improving
Ian MacLaren/Cortez Journal
Although not necessarily reflected in their win-loss record, the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers looked much improved playing against Montrose High School and Fruita Monument High School.
Beginning the weekend with a double-header on Sept. 13, the Panthers lost to Montrose by scores of 15-5 and 14-4.
Highlighting the 14-4 loss for the Panthers was a long home run to center field by sophomore Larissa Martin to begin the third inning. Undoubtedly the most impressive hit by either team throughout the two games, Martin’s home run cleared the fence with room to spare.
“It was a great pitch, and I just kind of used my hips,” Martin said. “I was pretty happy about it.”
Hoping to improve against Fruita on Sept. 14, the Panthers found runs tough to come by, falling by scores of 16-2 and 10-0.
Providing a highlight for the Panthers in 16-2 loss, sophomore Abriana Conklin began the bottom of the second inning with a well-struck double that sailed over the center fielder’s head.
Two batters later, Martin again came through for the Panthers, blooping a single to right field to drive in Conklin from second base.
“We’ve really started hitting the ball more,” said Panthers’ sophomore Journi Black, discussing her team’s hitting. “We’re playing a lot better.”
Throughout the weekend, the Panthers played better defense, punctuated by a slick double play turned by Conklin against Fruita in the top of the third inning. With runners at first and second and only one out, Conklin speared a hard line drive up the middle before throwing to first to record the double play.
“In the start of our season, we were just all around, throwing balls around,” said Conklin. “This weekend, we made a lot less errors than usual. We’re really working as a team too.”
Hoping to continue to improve, the Panthers will next travel to face Palisade and Delta on the road, Sept. 20-21.