Not so grand in Grand Junction

DHS softball drops 2 to a tough Class 5A Tigers’ squad

The Durango High School softball team’s doubleheader Friday against Grand Junction wasn’t as grand as the Demons had hoped.

Durango lost 9–1, then 14–3 in a scorching Grand Valley.

“Well, you know, tough day, tough day,” DHS head softball coach John Bernazzani said. “We certainly could’ve been better, especially defensively.”

Elisha Jahnke gave up a run for Grand Junction in Game 1, giving up four hits across seven innings and striking out four.

Mercy Lashway had two of those hits for the Demons, and Lexy Vidunas and Mackenzie Sill had one apiece.

Durango scored its lone run in the second inning with an RBI single from Cindy Kobrin.

Vidunas worked the circle for the Demons, giving up 15 hits for six earned runs over six innings and struck out three.

“I thought she pitched a pretty good game,” Bernazzani said. “She kept them off balance.”

All but two Tigers had hits, but Brianna Baldwin was 4-for-4 to lead the team.

“I certainly told the girls that it doesn’t matter who we are playing; we need to play better defense. And I think that was a big part of falling a little bit short (Saturday),” Bernazzani said.

Grand Junction consistently scored throughout the game, putting up two each in the first and second innings, one each in the third and fourth and three in the fifth before Durango held the Tigers scoreless in the sixth.

“I felt we ... were kind of hanging around with a team that we’ve seen put up five or six in all those innings,” Bernazzani said.

Game 2 had more DHS hits, but another 14-hit game from the Tigers proved far too much to overcome.

The Demons recorded seven hits against Arianna Diaz in her five innings in the circle, with Vidunas going 3-for-3 at the plate, singling in the first, third and fifth innings.

The fourth inning proved to be Durango’s downfall: Grand Junction scored 10 runs in the bottom of the inning.

“They really hit the ball well in the very last of that second game, but prior to that, they were dropping those dead-quail bloopers here and there. And they’re just back-breakers,” Bernazzani said.

Baldwin again led the Tigers’ offense, going 4-for-4 at the plate. Jahnke had three hits.

Augusta Brockus pitched four innings for the Demons.

“They figured out how to make the adjustments on Gus’ pitches,” Bernazzani said.

Durango scored three runs in the top of the fifth. Lashway had an RBI groundout, and Sill had an RBI double. The other run was unearned.

“All in all, it was certainly a day where we put the ball on the bat a lot,” Bernazzani said.

DHS also lost Chanel McCloskey when she reinjured her knee – an injury she first suffered last summer.

Durango will play another doubleheader at 10 a.m. and noon today against Montrose, and Bernazzani said he will have to shift some players around to make up for McCloskey’s absence.

“We lost a player like Chanel, and it’s not like we can just go to the shelf and say, ‘Here’s another second baseman.’ ... That presents a challenge.”