Steamboat softball loses 2 to Palisade | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat softball loses 2 to Palisade

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School softball player Shantel Payne throws a pitch during Saturday's second game against Palisade. The Sailors lost, 22-0 and 20-0, to the Bulldogs.

— The Steamboat Springs High School softball team dropped a pair of games Saturday, falling to Palisade, 22-0 and 20-0.

The Sailors, 0-6 on the season, ran into a couple of top-notch pitchers in Shelby Hanson and Emily Crow.

The two Palisade right-handers combined to pitch six innings of one-hit ball.

“They had two really good pitchers,” Steamboat coach Dan Swanson said. “The first one was their strong one. The second one the girls were making contact, but Palisade’s a good team.”

Hanson threw a no-hitter in three innings of work in the first game, striking out seven and walking just one. Crow nearly equaled her, striking out seven in three innings of work in the second game.

Hayden senior Tyra Monger, who plays softball for Steamboat, had the Sailors’ lone hit in the top of the first inning of the second game.

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Despite the two losses, Swanson said the girls played markedly better than they have in previous games.

In the second game, Steamboat was down only 6-0 through two innings before the floodgates opened in the bottom half of the third.

There, Palisade used eight walks by Steamboat pitchers to push 14 runs across.

“We’ve definitely made some improvement in our defense,” Swanson said. “The biggest thing is getting pitchers to throw hard and get people out.”

Steamboat returns to action at 1 p.m. Monday at Howelsen against Valor Christian. Swanson said although he doesn’t know a ton about Valor Christian, the team has struggled most of the year.

And with the improvement made Saturday and the influx of several more players, he’s confident Steamboat can compete in both games of the doubleheader.

“I really want the girls to focus on getting the ball in,” he said. “I want them to be aware of where the runners are. I’d like to see that next. I’ve seen a lot of improvement the last game; I just hope it carries to the next game.”