Montrose High School’s Kennadie Minerich

Montrose High School’s Kennadie Minerich successfully steals second base during Saturday’s home doubleheader against Rifle.

A pair of rallies came up short for the Montrose High School softball team as the Lady Indians lost both games, 6-5 and 14-7, Saturday against the visiting Rifle Bears.

“We battled hard, fought and never gave up,” said MHS coach Joe Bollinger. “They were able to get some two-outs hits, and we didn’t. They were just a little bit better today.”

The Bears led wire-to-wire in both contests, which included an early 3-0 lead after the first inning in game one.

The Lady Indians would later found themselves down 6-2 after four but were able to come back with a three-run sixth inning to cut into the visitors’ advantage.

It all started with a walk for Lara Edeker, who then scored on an RBI double by Kennadie Minerich. Cora Blowers followed, blasting a 2-run homer to left-center field.

But that was the last score for Montrose in game one.

Rifle was able to pitch around a lead-off hit in the seventh inning, forcing a pop-up and then a double play to end the contest.

Game two was more of the same for Rifle, which struck first in the opening inning. The Bears then added a pair of runs in the second and four more in the third to take a 7-0 lead.

The Lady Indians cut into the deficit with their own four-run inning. Edeker would score from third base after the team attempted a double steal with a runner also on first.

Blowers later tacked on an RBI single before she and teammate Kylie Morris scored on a pair of Rifle infield errors to make the score 7-4.

However, that was the closest the score would be all game.

The Bears later added a five-run sixth inning before the Lady Indians scored three in the bottom of the same frame. But the visitors tacked on two more runs in the seventh to give themselves a bigger cushion for the win.

Despite the losses, Bollinger and the players agreed Montrose’s approach at the plate was still consistent and strong Saturday.

“I think as a team, we put it all together today,” senior Jasmyne Aragaon said. “We worked our hardest and had grit no matter what. … We battled to get our hits out there.”

The Montrose coach added the offense has been making the opponents’ defenses work, indicating the team’s strikeout number after four games “can be counted on one hand.”

“If you’re hitting the ball, you’re pressuring the defense,” Bollinger said. “As long as you’re (doing that), then you have a chance.”

Up next, Montrose will play Friday and Saturday in the Sheridan Tournament.

Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.

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