The Durango High School softball team got off to an ideal start under new leadership, as the Demons swept Aspen High School in Saturday’s season-opening doubleheader in Grand Junction.
Durango (2-0) run-ruled the Skiers 15-0 in Game 1, which lasted three innings, and also won 21-6 in a four-inning Game 2 performance. The Demons are led by John Bernazzani, who is in his second stint as head coach, after he headed the program from 2007-2012.
The Demons got off to a scorching start in the first game, after Emma Candelaria brought in the first run of the season with a triple that scored Lily Longan, and it was one of seven base hits in the inning. Durango would go on to score 10 runs in the first, as Teagan Kehm, Sydney Flores and Longan all recorded doubles. DHS added five in the second and did not score in the third.
“We’ve got some new pieces this year, we’ve got girls coming from all over, but it’s a talented group,” Bernazzani said.
Tori Raybourn got the start for DHS on the mound and pitched well, as she was perfect through two innings of work and struck out two.
Longan finished 3-for-3 with an RBI, Kehm went 2-for-2 with a double, triple and three RBIs. Raybourn was 2-for-3 with a single, double and two RBIs, and Alaysia Kremer, a freshman from Bayfield, was 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
Sylvia Reyes came in for Raybourn and gave up one hit, but shut the door on the Skiers to take Game 1.
In Game 2, the Demons’ offense remained hot, as Candelaria went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a triple, Bela Torres was 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and Flores was 2-for-2 with two singles, two RBIs. Mia Baguskas went 2-for-2 with a double. DHS led 12-1 after the first inning and 19-1 after two.
The Skiers (0-2) would not be denied, as they plated five in the top of the third, all of which came off of base on balls, but it would not be enough to mount a comeback.
“It was very encouraging to start the season,” Bernazzani said. “From a defensive standpoint, they played very clean, and for them to come up and score a lot of earned runs, I’d have to say that they met my expectations today.”
Durango will begin league play next week when it travels to Southwestern League foe Fruita Monument on Saturday.
“They came out ready to play, and they didn’t take anything for granted,” Bernazzani said. “Certainly, they’ll be tested in league play against Fruita next week, but it was a very good start to the season, and I think we’ll be able to compete against a lot of the 5A schools in our league this year.”