A vigorous Lady Indians offense gave the Montrose High School softball team just enough of a push to overcome early costly errors in a 10-9 home win Wednesday over Palisade.
“We picked each over up and we held our own and battled through,” said starting pitcher Kennadie Minerich, who slammed a two-run homer in the first inning to go along with two singles.
In a ballgame that had five lead changes and four ties, the Lady Indians trailed 9-8 going into the sixth inning. But Cora Blowers and Jasmyne Aragon knocked in back-to-back RBI doubles to give the hosts the lead back for good.
Minerich then pitched a scoreless seventh to help Montrose win its home opener.
“This team’s got a lot of grit,” said MHS coach Joe Bollinger. “They fight and fight. They came back and never quit.”
But the Lady Indians hurt themselves early on with defensive errors which included a few by the infield which led to an early 2-0 lead for the Bulldogs after one.
Bollinger said that aspect will be a focal point in practice going forward, but attributed some errors to “early-season jitters.”
“We had some mistakes and throwing and catching errors but it’s early,” he said. “There’s a lot of nerves going on but they’ll get over that.”
Montrose was able to get over an early 5-2 deficit after Palisade scored three in the second inning.
The home team battled back, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom half of the second off a two-run single by Lara Edeker.
After both Montrose and Palisade scored one in the fourth, the Lady Indians took their first lead of the game after tallying three runs in the fifth inning to make it, 8-6.
Despite the Bulldogs retaking the lead after a three-run sixth inning, the hosts were able to respond during their next at-bat.
Minerich started the frame with a single before stealing second. Blowers then drilled a deep double to centerfield to send Minerich home before Aragon scored the go-ahead run with her own two-bagger.
“Palisade’s a good team. They scored a lot of runs today, but we turned out to be a little bit better,” Bollinger said.
Montrose will stay at home with a doubleheader Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. versus Rifle.
If the Lady Indians want to build off this dramatic, come-from-behind win, they need to continue to have a high-energy mindset and the same approach at the plate, Minerich said.
“We battled well today; all nine batters did a really good job. Hopefully, we can carry that into Saturday,” she said.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress