Etched in Stone

Varsity softball shuts out rival team 9-0

Isabella Mahal

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Photo Credit: Isabella Mahal

On Thursday, September 14, the Fossil Ridge High School softball team took on Rocky Mountain High School at home. Fossil came away with a 9-0 win, the first in the last four Fossil match-ups between the two rivals. Coach Dave Philop stated that the team, “is really trying to build right now. We’re in the middle of the season which is really important, so this was a huge game for us.”

Rocky started hitting right out of the dugout, but Fossil took the plays one at a time and held their opponent. Kate Delaney, a junior, made two unassisted plays at first base and pitcher Jordan Ellis, senior, retired another to bring the Sabercats up to bat. Immediately, Kristen Reed, junior, sent a line drive to right center and Jayden Mercado, a sophomore, sacrifice-bunted her to third base. Delaney was up next, and scored Reed with a double to center. Mia Moddelmog, junior, scored Delaney on her very first pitch with another double to left center. Rheanna Will, senior, and Rose Philop, junior, were both called out after pop-flies to the left side, and Fossil headed to the second inning up 2-0.

Delaney is currently ranked #2 in Colorado for her batting average of .771. She has been switching positions in the statistics with players from Dakota Ridge High School and Durango High School for several weeks, but ultimately just wants to do her part for the team. In addition, Mercado is ranked tenth and batting .677.

Fossil was up to bat again after Philop caught a pop fly and Mercado and Delaney fielded grounders. Hayley Henderson, senior, flew out, and Ellis walked. Amber King, a junior, hit a grounder down the middle and Ellis was called out, but King stole second the next pitch. Reed struck out, but Fossil maintained their lead into the third inning.

Mercado and Delaney teamed up twice more in the third to put away two more batters. Rocky dropped a line drive into right center, but Philop picked up a grounder off the next batter and made the third out. Fossil struggled to get the bats going, as Mercado flew out to shortstop and Delaney grounded out to second base. Moddelmog grounded out to shortstop, but the girls came back stronger once they hit the field.

Reed came in from right field and made a play on a ball hit to the gap to get the first out, and Philop quickly followed it up with another one. Delaney caught a line drive and the Sabercats were once again on the offensive. Will flew out to shortstop and Philop to left field, but Henderson picked them up with a solo home run an inch right of the left field foul pole. Ellis ground out, but Fossil had increased their lead to 3-0 at the end of the fourth.

Henderson has played varsity for Fossil since her freshmen year, and she finds that the team “comes together and unites as one” when it matters. Everyone is friendly with one another, and they all know how to have fun. She expected the game to be a close one, but the team worked and hits came together. Ellis, another four year player, added that the team has struggled with some attitude problems and that that can always be a point of improvement for them.

At the beginning of the fifth, Reed caught a line drive in right field and Moddelmog caught a pop fly in center to retire the first two batters. Ellis struck the third one out to send the Sabercats to the bottom of the inning. King grounded out to the pitcher on a change-up, and Reed walked. Mercado hit a low line drive to the third basemen, which tripped her up and meant that both Reed and Mercado were safe. Then Delaney walked to load the bases. Moddelmog came through as the cleanup hitter and lined the ball all the way to right center, scoring two more batters. Right after, Delaney and Moddelmog advanced on a pass ball. Will walked, and the bases were loaded for the second time in the inning. Philop dropped a line drive behind the shortstop, and two more Sabercats came home. The scoreboard read 7-0 as Henderson flew out to left field and Ellis ground out, and Fossil went into the sixth up by seven.

Ellis struck out Rocky’s first batter, and Delaney picked up a grounder for the second out. Mercado then got the third out by picking up another grounder. Fossil donned their helmets, but King flew out to right field and Reed walked. Mercado singled with a grounder behind shortstop, and Delaney walked as well. Moddelmog scored two of her teammates but Delaney was thrown out, and Will was out on a fly ball to right field. Fossil had increased their lead to 9-0 going into the final inning, and their excitement was evident.

Ellis picked off the first batter with a strikeout, and Moddelmog made the catch in center for the second out. Mercado ended the game by picking up a grounder, and the Sabercats exited the field with their tenth win of the season.

Coach Philop believes that the team’s “pitching, hitting, and defense have all been really consistent. That consistency all year is why we’re where we’re at. We haven’t really had a lot of letdowns in any one thing. Fossil is currently leading their conference with a 4-0 record, and they have high hopes for the remaining half a season. Their 10-1 record sets them up for a successful season ahead.

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Varsity softball shuts out rival team 9-0