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DHS roundup: Demons lax loses in playoffs, baseball’s losing streak continues

Durango lacrosse ends season in playoffs for third straight year
Annabel Carithers of Durango High School looks for a shot against Grand Junction High School at Fort Lewis College earlier in the season. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Durango girls lacrosse team has been a part of high-scoring games the whole year. The first round of the 4A state playoffs was no different. Unfortunately for the Demons, Steamboat Springs started the game on a 7-0 run and the Sailors cruised to a 15-10 victory over the Demons on Wednesday.

Steamboat Springs improved to 9-7 overall with the win over Durango and moved on to the second round where the Sailors lost to Evergreen 17-7.

Durango ended the season 7-8 overall after the loss. It’s the first time the Demons girls lacrosse program ended their season with a losing record since 2018-2019.

“Overall, we performed well,” Durango head coach Eric Elliot said. “When a team puts seven points up on you without you able to respond to that, the girls didn't quit or even entertain the idea of giving up for a second. That's pretty tough, pretty tough to do,”

Junior Sofia Naffziger led Durango with five goals. Senior Annabel Carithers had three goals and an assist. Junior goalie Fiona Chandler had 12 saves for the Demons.

Elliot said Naffziger has had an inside roll move which has been hard to stop and she used it well against Steamboat Springs. He also complimented Naffziger on her intelligence and willingness to pass when the attention was on her.

Steamboat Springs had a more balanced attack with freshman Julia Sturges scoring four goals and sophomores Kate Ryan and Hailey Znamenacek each had three goals for the Sailors.

Elliot said he planned to focus his defense’s attention on Sturges to slow her down. The Demons were able to achieve their goal but it opened up the field for the rest of the Steamboat Springs attackers which led to the 7-0 deficit and Elliot having to change the game plan.

Although the Demons didn’t make it to the second round like last year, Elliot is still proud of where the program is and how the Demons now expect to go to the state playoffs every year. He’s happy with how the 4A Mountain West League has gotten stronger which helps Durango with its isolated location on the Western Slope.

The Demons will return three of their top four scorers next season. Naffziger led the Demons with 37 goals and Carithers was right behind her with 35. Sophomore Taylor Babcock should be an offensive threat next season after scoring 25 goals this season. Junior Silvie Bosmans will be back after scoring 16 goals.

Carithers, Emmylou Willis and Lucy Halverstadt were the Demons’ three seniors.

“Next year is going to be bright,” Elliot said. “We lost three seniors who were solid leaders. Annabel is our program leader in just about every statistical category at the end of her career and she'll be difficult to replace. We are really excited about Fiona returning in goal. If you have a strong goalie, they can keep you in all kinds of games and Fiona has done that her entire career.”

Baseball’s losing streak extends to 10 after two losses to Grand Junction Central

Oh, how so much can change in a month.

On April 14, the Durango baseball team was 8-4 with numerous dominant victories and seven games with over 10 runs scored.

The month of May has not been kind to the Demons. They are 0-5 in May and are on a 10-game losing streak after two losses to Grand Junction Central over the weekend, 4-0 and 7-4.

Durango fell to 8-14 overall and 0-8 in the 4A/5A Southwestern League after the losses. Grand Junction improved to 13-9 overall and 4-4 in the 4A/5A Southwestern League after the two wins.

During the 10-game losing streak, the Demons have failed to score more than five runs in a game.

“The atmosphere and the energy right now is just that we need to go break this losing streak,” Durango coach Austin Anderson said. “It can be done if we play our type of baseball and we play how I know they can play it can definitely happen. But everybody's just got one goal right now and it's to get a win on the board.”

In the first game, the Demons fell behind 1-0 after the first inning. Grand Junction Central then scored three runs in the fourth and the rest of the game was scoreless.

Sophomore Austin Romero pitched for five innings and had five strikeouts while allowing five hits and four runs.

In the second game, the Demons got out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning but Grand Junction Central responded with four runs in the third to take a 4-2 lead. The Warriors then sealed the victory by outscoring the Demons 3-2 in the seventh and won 7-4.

Senior Ian Szura had a nice day for the Demons. He finished 3-4 from the batter’s box. Junior Jack Englund had seven strikeouts and allowed four hits and four runs in five innings pitched.

Durango played on Tuesday night at Montezuma-Cortez. Stats and the game result weren’t available at press time.

bkelly@durangoherald.com