Bella Quintana’s first home run of the season seemed as if she had done it before.

It went well over the left field fence, capping a nearly unstoppable rally in the second inning against Canon City. And that play was more than enough to keep the momentum on the Grizzlies’ side en route to an 11-5 home win in Class 4A Colorado Springs Metro League action.

“I just found something that looked really good,” Quintana said about her pitch.

The sophomore went 2 for 3, but her two-run homer forced Canon City to carefully pitch around her. Her next at-bat prompted a walk.

The Grizzlies (12-5, 3-0 CSML) got things going in the second, when they produced six runs on five hits and an error for a 6-0 lead. Mesa Ridge, which garnered its eighth straight win, went on to score two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth before adding an insurance score in the sixth.

Aubree Krupp, Glena Reed, Solena Ornelas and Rose Towne each recorded two hits, while Krupp, Reed and Katrina Robertson each finished with a triple. The Grizzlies also had solid pitching, as Kylee Bunnell had nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits.

Bunnell wrapped up her outing by striking out Canon City’s final two batters.

Canon City (6-9, 0-2) cut its deficit to 6-3 in the fourth, thanks in part to Kiley O’Rourke hitting a two-RBI single. She went 3 for 4, and teammate Cara McGeeney was 2 for 4 with an RBI.

The Grizzlies won despite committing six fielding errors.

But now, Mesa Ridge is one win short of last season’s win total — which was just enough for the Grizzlies to secure the final seed in the 4A state playoffs. Mesa Ridge has six more games to surpass that number and earn a higher postseason position.

“To tell the truth, we were a little sloppy today,” Mesa Ridge coach Al Bustillos said. “But I told the girls, ‘If we’re sloppy and still winning 11-5, something is going right.' There’s some type of aura surrounding us that’s giving us the ability to stay on top, even though we’re not playing to the best of our ability.”

Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.

comments powered by Disqus