Panthers softball breaks through for first wins of season
Through 13 consecutive losses to open the season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers softball team toiled. Slowly, after hours on the practice field, hitters began to hit, pitchers began to throw strikes, and the defense tightened.
Then, after kicking off homecoming weekend with 15-6 and 10-0 losses to the Rifle Bears on Friday, Sept. 27, M-CHS finally broke through.
Hosting the Eagle Valley Devils on Saturday, Sept. 28, the Panthers won their first two games of the season, using a combination of clutch hitting, consistent pitching and tight defense to hammer down 18-8 and 15-6 victories.
Highlighting the 18-8 victory was a two-run home run by Panthers’ sophomore Britney Tullis, a four-hit, three-double, performance by junior Brenna Leonard, and a complete game pitching performance by sophomore Abriana Conklin.
Keying the Panthers’ 15-6 win was a four-hit, 2-RBI, performance by Conklin and a complete game pitching performance by sophomore Journi Black.
As teammates celebrated after the Panthers’ second win in as many games, Leonard took a moment to discuss her team’s performances.
“We’ve been working hard the whole season, and our win showed that things are starting to come together,” Leonard said. “It was a lot of fun. We feel very accomplished right now.
Senior Kendall Calhoun noted the progress.
“Today we were able to put our differences aside and really come together as a team,” Calhoun said. “We put our heart into everything that we did today and it paid off.”
With their season record now standing at 2-15, the Panthers will travel to Durango on Tuesday, Oct. 1, before concluding the season at home against Cedaredge on Friday, Oct. 4.