By STEPHEN JIRON
Courier Sports Editor
ALAMOSA — Prep softball is back in swing in the valley. Alamosa played their first home game of the year hosting Montezuma-Cortez (1-0). Alamosa (0-4) is showing plenty of fight this year. Alamosa battled to the finish with the visiting Panthers before falling 9-7.
Entering their second season the Moose are continuing to make strides, just a year ago Alamosa closed the season with a 7-10 record with an average margin of 10 runs in their losses. This year the softball team opened on the road at the VPV Fall Classic Softball tournament, while they didn’t come away with a win they did take every single game to the wire, the margin in all three of their losses this past weekend was only a run. Including taking undefeated Platte Valley the distance to a 10-9 finish. And so it was on Tuesday.
Alamosa fell into a hole early watching Montezuma-Cortez score four runs in the top of the first inning. Head Coach Roxi Vigil kept the girls calm despite trailing early and recent AHS ‘You Make A Difference’ Award winner – Emily Crowder got home after Skye Albert put one in play to cut the lead to 4-1. The defense responded as well with a throw out and two fly outs in the top of the second to send Alamosa back to bat.
At the top of the second, Alamosa’s Kada Burris would get on base thanks to a dropped fly ball. Burris would later score on an error at third. A single from catcher Alyssa Tipsword would bring out courtesy-runner Gracie Miller. Miller blitzed her way to two stolen bases before a running slap from senior Unique Ross scored the Moose’s third run of the day. Crowder registered the equalizer on a single that scored Eliana Heredia.
The tie was short lived, the top of the third inning saw Cortez’s Hailey Veach send a ball that nestled itself in the corner down the first base line. With the Alamosa defense scrambling to get it in, Veach would register an inside-the-park homerun to put Cortez ahead once again.
A renewed Alamosa got back to work in the fourth inning, Alamosa’s defense would quickly collect three outs at the top of the inning. Heredia got things going for Alamosa at the bottom of the inning with a single to center field. Ross followed that up with a double to right field. With runners in position Crowder batted Heredia in to tie the game at five runs. Alamosa’s Harmony Peterson singled to score Ross with the go ahead giving Alamosa their first lead of the game 6-5.
Cortez would answer quickly with both Presly Frost and Veach logging runs to put the Panthers back in the driver’s seat, two strikeouts credited to Frost and a throw out at first and Cortez would open the sixth inning in control 7-6.
With six straight outs from both teams the seventh inning would decide the one run game. Cortez built on their lead when Lizzie Likes errored home and Frost scored Alyssa Cornett with a sacrifice fly.
Alamosa would have the bottom of the inning to close the three-run deficit but would only come up with one, credited to junior Bella Griffin ending a close 9-7 game.
Despite their record Alamosa is fielding some quality talent. Defensivly pitcher Crowder logged three strikeouts in Tuesday’s game. But when Crowder allowed hits, the defense was strong in support with fly outs all over the field including Ross covering plenty of green in the outfield or Burris snagging a line drive in the infield.
Alamosa will look for their first win of the season when they host James Irwin Charter School (0-2) Sept. 7 at the ASU Softball fields at 1 p.m.