Lady Bulldogs winning streak over, but team still in first going into region play

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

5-4-2017

 

GUNNISON—An unbelievable run of success hit a slight snag last week as the Lady Bulldogs saw their win streak snapped at 11 games.

Gunnison softball had an amazing game on both sides of the ball, being just slightly outdone by a tough Emery squad, 15-12, on Friday, April 28.

The loss is the first in region play for the Lady Bulldogs, who are 7-1 in region and 15-5 overall, good enough to retain first place in the 2A East. Prior to the Friday loss, the Lady Bulldogs dominated in a doubleheader against San Juan, 16-2 and 18-5, last Wednesday, April 26.

“It was tough losing to Emery,” head coach Tyson Brackett said. “We hit really good. Five homeruns and scoring 12 runs usually wins you a game. We played great on defense. We should rebound okay from the loss. A loss can make you refocus, so they aren’t always bad.”

Last Wednesday, Gunnison established itself as top dog in the region by manhandling San Juan, giving them solid victories over everyone in the 2A East at least once. In the first match of the doubleheader, the Lady Broncos got first on the board by scoring a run in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Bulldogs quickly made good friends with home plate, blowing out San Juan in five innings behind 20 total hits, five doubles, a triple and a homerun. The homer came from sophomore Halle Bjerregaard, who notched four RBI for the match.

If there was a mercy rule that could end a game after one inning, it would have applied to the second game between Gunnison and San Juan. The Lady Bulldogs’ hot hitting got even hotter, scoring a jaw-dropping 12 runs in the bottom of the first inning.

The Lady Broncos scored their five runs in the next two innings to try and a salvage the game, but to no avail. Gunnison crossed home plate six more times en route to the quick win. Eight doubles, one triple and a homerun from sophomore Emily Brackett resulted from 19 total hits for the team.

Then came Emery, looking to avenge a loss to Gunnison just the week prior. Gunnison still wouldn’t cool off at the plate, vamping it up even more, but Emery came ready for the onslaught. It was a thriller in Gunnison Valley, with both teams combining for nine home runs and 29 total hits.

Emery got the early lead, scoring two runs apiece in the first and second innings, while Gunnison got three in the bottom of the second to make it 4-3. At the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Bulldogs lit up, notching five scores for an 8-4 lead, and looked poised to take over the game. The Lady Spartans came back to life with a run of 11 scores in the fifth and sixth innings to run back ahead of Gunnison, 15-9. The Lady Bulldogs desperately tried to get the lead back in the final inning, but the fuel ran out right at the end with Gunnison conceding the loss.

Brackett led the team at the plate with two home runs and six RBIs, while Bjerregaard, senior Jerusha Miner and sophomore Paige King each homered as well. Emery’s Bailey Huggard kept pace singlehandedly with Gunnison with three homeruns and seven RBIs.

The single loss does not take Gunnison out of first place in region, however. Their season continues this week with several nonregion matchups. They were on the road Tuesday this week against Piute (score unavailable at press time), and now have their best chance to prove their worth in the state with a game today (Thursday) against South Summit, ranked No. 3 in 2A and leading the 2A Central region.