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  • Berthoud's Taylor Armitage pitches against Erie at Erie High School...

    Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Berthoud's Taylor Armitage pitches against Erie at Erie High School Thursday afternoon.

  • Erie's Rio Sanchez is greeted at home plate by teammate...

    Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Erie's Rio Sanchez is greeted at home plate by teammate Katie Glaze after Sanchez hit a solo home run in the sixth inning against Berthoud at Erie High School Thursday afternoon.

  • Erie's Katie Glaze shows the ball to the umpire after...

    Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer

    Erie's Katie Glaze shows the ball to the umpire after tagging out Berthoud's Taylor Armitage in the fourth inning at Erie High School Thursday afternoon.

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ERIE — Rio Sanchez was in a do-it-yourself mood on Thursday.

With her Erie High softball team struggling to score against visiting Berthoud, Sanchez took the mound and held Berthoud scoreless for seven innings to keep the Tigers in the game. In the bottom of the sixth inning, she broke the scoreless tie with a solo home run.

The Tigers won 1-0.

“My defense is looking great,” Sanchez said. “They’ve been working so hard and they were really solid today. I was just trying to mess with their timing a lot since these girls have seen me once already this season. We just tried to keep them off balance and let the defense make the outs.”

During a 6-0 win over Berthoud (7-5, 3-4 Tri-Valley) in the season opener on Aug. 25, Sanchez no-hit the Spartans. Any threat of a repeat no-no was dispelled when Spartans leadoff hitter Delaney Fouts singled to open Thursday’s game.

There may not have been a no-hitter thrown, but both Sanchez and Spartans starter Taylor Armitage were pitching lights out. Sanchez allowed just three hits. Armitage gave up five but struck out 10 batters.

On the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning Sanchez hit her game-winning solo shot for the Tigers (9-2, 5-1 Tri-Valley).

“We have a girl, Jade Phillips, and she always calls my home runs,” Sanchez said. “I didn’t know until I got back to the dugout but apparently she wasn’t even watching and she said, ‘Rio is going to hit a home run.’ That’s like the fourth time she’s done that.

“I had struck out twice and I don’t usually do that so I just needed to get out of my head. I just didn’t think and swung the bat. It just happened to be a home run.”

The game lasted only 1 hour, 5 minutes.

Sanchez was coming off a 13-strikeout performance in a 3-2 win over Windsor on Tuesday and struck out only three against the Spartans. Tigers head coach Harold Simmons said he preferred to see the defense stay involved the way it was Thursday.

“I love the games where she strikes out three or four but we play defense behind her and it’s fast-paced,” Simmons said. “It was a well-played game for both teams. Even the home run, I thought that was a good pitch. We just keep doing what we do is pitch and play defense. Our offense needs some work and it doesn’t help that we have three players hurt.

The Tigers have won 11 state titles since 1998 and are currently second behind Frederick (7-2-1, 6-0 Tri-Valley) in the conference standings. They will play next at Mullen (4-5) at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

Erie 1, Berthoud 0

At Erie H.S.

Berthoud
000 000 0 — 0 3 0

Erie
000 001 x — 1 5 1

W — Rio Sanchez (9-2). L — Taylor Armitage.

Berthoud hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Delaney Fouts 3-0-1-0, Sarah Jorissen 2-0-1-0, Taylor Armitage 2-0-1-0, Madison Herbert 3-0-0-0, Lindsay Erickson 3-0-0-0, Addie Spears 3-0-0-0, Tristen Pope 3-0-0-0, Hannah Langer 2-0-0-0, Sydney Kouns 2-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-3-0.

Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rio Sanchez 3-1-1-1, Katie Glaze 3-0-1-0, Maddie Foster 1-0-0-0, Victoria Macias 3-0-1-0, Anne Fisher 3-0-1-0, Elise Capra 2-0-0-0, Bri Wilson 2-0-0-0, Morgan Weber 2-0-0-0, Jade Phillips 2-0-1-0. Totals 2-0-1-0. 2B — Fisher. HR — Sanchez (solo in sixth). SB — Glaze.

Berthoud pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Taylor Armitage 6-5-1-1-1-10.

Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Rio Sanchez 7-3-0-0-0-3.

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