First game a game of firsts for Lady Spartans softball

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

It was their first game of the season. It was the first game as Berthoud’s head coach for Ashtin Williamson. The first game playing a significant role on the varsity squad for several Lady Spartans, including freshmen Nicole Maheu and Delaney Fouts. And it was a game against last year’s Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) first-place Erie Lady Tigers, who just so happen to be the first-ranked team in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s (CHSAA) pre-season poll.

It was also, unfortunately from Berthoud’s perspective, the Lady Spartans first loss of the 2014 season. A five-run fifth from Erie gave the home team all the runs they would need as they held on against a late-inning Berthoud rally to get the 5-4 win.

A pair of “costly errors,” Williamson explained, made the difference in a game that “should have been [a] 4-1 [win for Berthoud].”

Despite surrendering the five runs in the bottom of the fifth to Erie, the Lady Spartans did not give up and had a real chance to win the game. Berthoud added a run in the sixth and another two in the seventh. In the final frame, an intentional walk and a wild pitch put the tying run in scoring position, but Erie was able to get a strikeout for the final out and escape the game with a win by the slimmest of margins.

Asked what she learned from seeing her team in live-game action for the first time, Coach Williamson said, “I learned a lot about our team today, for one, they don’t back down…The Lady Spartans put up their dukes and went blow for blow against a reputable Erie Tigers squad. I couldn’t have asked more from my girls; we hung in there until the very end and showed signs of a very promising season.”

Starting pitcher Taylor Armitage, a 2013 All Conference player and one of the 2014 team’s anchor players, threw a stellar game from inside the circle. The junior surrendered just five hits and a single earned run in six innings of work. She also turned in a two-for-four day at the plate with an RBI double and was named Berthoud’s Player of the Game.

Junior Larissa Royer also contributed a pair of hits and a RBI and also turned in what Williamson called a “fantastic” effort in the field. Senior Jessi Boruff, however, was the Lady Spartans best hitter on the afternoon, going two-for-three with a triple, a homerun and two RBI. As a team, Berthoud went nine for 30 from the plate, a solid showing, but did accumulate 10 strikeouts. Williamson conceded that the team, with so many new faces and varsity first-timers, may have been a little nervous out of the gate.

“You could still tell they were a little nervous,” she said. “But they had a lot to live up to and after they got the jitters out they had a good showing.”

The Lady Spartans will look to get their first win of the season at their home opener Friday night under the lights against Thompson Valley. The game starts at 7 p.m.