RANGELY | The Rangely lady Panthers hosted its first Battle of the Borders last weekend with a total of 18 teams participating.
The divisions consisted of 10U, 12U and 14U teams from Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. The lady Panthers had a great showing as a first year 12U team.
It started off rocky in pool play as they dropped the first two games to the Grand Junction Riders and Rock Springs, Wyo. Moving into the Saturday bracketing the girls had a tall task as a No. 5 seed. In the 9 a.m. elimination game the girls gave themselves every opportunity to lose with several fielding errors that put them in a 20-8 deficit going into the last inning.
But with a huge amount of heart—that we have seen more than once from this group—they rallied back. After getting two quick outs the lights looked dim to everyone but the Panthers. The girls went on a tear, wearing pitches, hitting singles and doubles and capitalized by a 3-2 double from Jade Miller for the walk-off hit. They defeated the GJ Mavs 21-20 and moved into the semi finals against the Western Slope Aftershock.
The girls again showed their grit by edging out 9-8 victory and moving onto the championship.
The championship was much different for the lady Panthers, falling short to a very good American Made team out of Utah, losing 16-1.
“There are so many girls who had a great weekend that its hard to mention them all but as for their first 12U tournament, not bad!” said coach Jessica Fortunato, adding, “Super proud of these girls and excited for what is in store for them in the future. No quit!”
Fortunato thanked parents and coaches, Western Rio Blanco Parks and Rec District, and Rangely Trash Services for all their help.