Lady Spartans Bounce Back Against Holy Family

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

Everyone gets knocked down, but not everyone gets back up. The Berthoud High School (BHS) softball team got knocked down in a 9-3 loss to Frederick on Sept. 27 but they proved able to get back up in a big way by besting conference rival Holy Family 7-5 on Tuesday afternoon.

The win over Holy Family virtually assures Berthoud a spot in the postseason and, as Head Coach Buddy Kouns explained, “It was a good win to get after two disappointing losses, we hung on and it’s a good win to have heading into the postseason.”

Berthoud 7, Holy Family 5

After taking an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the Lady Spartans busted out in a big way in the next frame, pushing six runs across the plate to take a very early 7-0 lead. Tristan Pope, Addie Spears, Delaney Fouts, Sarah Jorissen, Ashlynn Balliet and Hannah Langer all came home to put Berthoud up big through just an inning and a half.

“We strung hits together, it wasn’t an error-fest, we stayed disciplined and hit what we could hit,” Kouns said of Berthoud’s six-run second inning.

Holy Family was nearly able to answer back, however, as the Lady Tigers scored four in the bottom of second to cut their visitor’s lead to 7-4. But Jorissen settled in afterwards, allowing only one more run in her next five innings from inside the circle.

“They strung their hits together there too, sure, but Sarah is just a workhorse for us and she finished strong,” Kouns said. Jorissen finished the afternoon with six strikeouts and only two earned runs in what marked the sophomore’s seventh complete game of the season.

Frederick 9, Berthoud 3

Just as they had done the game prior against top-ranked Erie, Berthoud let one bad inning ruin what could have been a signature win. After battling to a 3-2 lead after two innings, the pair of Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) heavy-weights fought through two innings where both teams threatened but neither scored.

A Spears single was followed by back-to-back doubles from Fouts and Jorissen and, one out later, another two-bagger off Balliet’s bat gave the Lady Spartans a one-run lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the third.

Trailing by one entering the top of the sixth, Frederick played small ball to great effect. After Hannah Ellis singled to lead off the frame, a Berthoud error allowed Aspen Dufour to reach while Ellis advanced to second. Then Frederick started laying down bunts and, while Berthoud proved adept at fielding them, their decision to try to hold the baserunners before attempting to get the out proved costly. The Lady Warriors boast excellent team speed, from the top to the bottom of their lineup, and were able to beat out throw after throw.

When asked if even in a close game if it would have been better to just get the outs rather than worry about holding the runner, Kouns responded, “That’s the message we give in practice, that’s the message we give almost verbatim, what I talked about tonight, in a tight game you trade the run for the out because that’s 33 percent of the inning.”

When all was said and done, Frederick was able to score seven runs in the frame, turning a close game into a blowout. “About four times that inning, defensively we just out-thought ourselves when we had the ball in our hands … sometimes the spectacular play is not there, you just have to take the out,” said Kouns.

Asked if it would have been better to trade a run for an out, Jorissen answered in the affirmative, saying, “Definitely, I was planning on getting outs more than the score because I know there’s always chances of getting the runs back.”

Despite the loss, the game provided what Jorissen called a “gut check” for Berthoud, providing the team with a taste of what they can expect to face in the postseason. “It will definitely push us harder at practice and I feel like it was a gut-check for everyone, definitely for me, because it showed me how much I really want it and we will get it on the road and get in to regionals,” Jorissen said.

Kouns explained that, now guaranteed a spot in regionals, Berthoud will work on “cleaning up a few things,” but first have to take care of business against Windsor in the final regular season game of the year. At 11-7 overall and 8-5 in TVC play, a win over Windsor can give Berthoud a two seed in regionals – the same seed from which the team won the regional title last season.

Berthoud (11-7, 8-5 conf.) will be on the road for their final regular season game, traveling to Windsor to face the arch rival Lady Wizards (9-8-1, 7-6 conf.) on Oct. 6. The Lady Spartans bested Windsor by a 7-3 final on Sept. 13 in the teams’ first meeting.