LOUISVILLE — Monarch senior Erin Hersey is in the midst of what she believes has been her best season in the pitcher's circle so far.
Saturday's game against Front Range League rival Boulder may have been Hersey's best single performance to date. In front of a home crowd at Monarch, Hersey went the distance and allowed just one earned run on five hits and struck out a season-high six batters in the 7-2 victory.
For Hersey, who also tripled twice and drove in a run, it was nice to be a primary reason the Coyotes picked up their second conference win.
"I felt like I was spinning the ball really well," Hersey said. "I was hitting my spots and my team, of course, was backing me up in the field. I feel like we've been down in the dumps a little bit lately but overall I felt like we all worked really well together to get the win today."
Sill searching for their first conference win, the Panthers (4-10, 0-7 Front Range) scored first with an RBI single from Jaycie Baca that brought home Raelee Perry in the top of the second inning. The Coyotes (4-9, 2-4 Front Range) quickly tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Maddie Stilson, who made a pair of diving catches in right field, scored on Hersey's first triple of the game.
The Coyotes added a run in the bottom of the third when nine-hole hitter Skylar Laman walked to lead off the frame and scored two batters later on a single from Sydney Marchetti. Monarch's Peyton Allen tripled in the fifth and then took home on an infield miscue to give the Coyotes a third run and some breathing room.
Boulder sophomore Grace Morrow cut the lead to one with a solo home run to left field in the sixth but Monarch scored four runs on four hits and three Boulder errors in the sixth inning.
"We had great communication between our players and great energy, which was great," Coyotes head coach Erika Sponenberg said. "We've had a lot of injuries so we're trying to bounce back from that while playing a lot of younger girls in the field so we've been focused on learning and getting better."
Despite the loss, Boulder starter Kelly McCarty was solid in the circle, striking out eight batters and allowing just two earned runs. Morrow's home run was the first in her career, which was another silver lining for the Panthers.
"We made some plays today that were quite tough," Boulder head coach Pam Arnold said. "Our hitting just needs a little more work and a little more time and we'll be on it."
Monarch 7, Boulder 2
At Monarch H.S.
Boulder 010 001 0 — 2 5 5
Monarch 011 014 0 — 7 9 2
W — Hersey. L — McCarty.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — McCarty 3-0-0-0, Wright 3-0-1-0, Arthur 3-0-1-0, Bush 3-0-0-0, Morrow 3-1-1-1, Perry 3-1-0-0, Baca 2-0-2-1, Johnson 2-0-0-0, Srednick 1-0-0-0, Male 2-0-0-0, Longoria 1-0-0-0. Totals 26-2-5-2. HR —Morrow (solo in sixth). SB — Baca, Perry.
Monarch hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Allen 3-2-2-1, Marchetti 4-1-2-1, Urbach 4-0-2-0, Macdonald 4-0-0-0, Stilson 3-1-1-0, Hersey 3-0-2-1, Reese 3-0-0-0, Stephenson 3-0-0-0, Laman 1-2-0-0, Marino 0-1-0-0. Totals 28-7-9-3. 2B — Urbach. 3B — Hersey 2, Allen.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McCarty 6-9-7-2-2-8.
Monarch pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hersey 7-5-2-1-1-6.