In a battle for first place in the Tri-Peaks League between the Lamar Lady Thunder and the Wiley Lady Panthers certainly lived up to its billing on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at Citizen’s Field.
Players, coaches, and fans were hanging on to every pitch, hit, and defensive play in a showdown of league unbeatens on a hot afternoon with the temperature hovering near 90 degrees.
But by Thursday, the bats for Lamar had cooled as they entered a tough conference game with La Junta and could not overcome a late rally posted by La Junta, losing 5-4, and making an issue for them in the Tri-Peaks standings.
On Tuesday Lamar held a 6-0 lead through four innings before Wiley mounted a rally in the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 6-5 and make things interesting.
Lamar eventually hung on to a 6-5 victory to extend its league record to 6-0 and 15-5 overall. The win was the seventh straight for the Thunder.
With the loss, Wiley fell to 4-1 and 11-3 and saw a five-game winning streak come to an end.
The win also marked the fourth time in four years that Lamar continued to have Wiley’s number.
The game featured a pitcher’s duel between two of the top throwers in the league in Wiley’s Bethany Summers and Lamar’s Delorin Bellomy.
Both pitchers had their ups and downs in the contest but rose to the challenge when needed.
Bellomy was cruising after the first four innings before she got in a jam in the fifth inning when she loaded the bases and Wiley was able to push across 5 runs.
The Lamar righthander finished strong to close the door in the top of the 7th as she put down the Panthers in order.
With the win, Bellomy raised her record to 9-2. She gave up five runs (three earned) on 7 hits. Bellomy issued two walks and struck out three.
Summers (7-2) suffered the loss in six innings. She gave up 6 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits. She walked 3 and struck out 6.
Lamar took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Summers loaded the bases with two outs.
The Thunder scored their three runs on an RBI single by Chole Fernandez and two more runs scored on a Wiley error on a hit by Bellomy.
Lamar added 3 more runs in the fourth inning.
With two outs, Bellomy ripped a fly ball to deep left center field for an RBI double. Chole Weber followed with an RBI single, and Mariah Sigala connected for an RBI double.
Trailing 6-0, Wiley got things going in the top of the fifth when they loaded the bases with two outs.
The Wiley Panthers got timely singles from Anna Wollert (1 RBI), Kara Wilson (2 RBIs), and Rachel Kopasz (2 RBIs).
On Thursday, Lamar stayed in it until the end, but La Junta pulled away late in the bottom of the 6th inning. The game was tied at four in the bottom of the sixth when La Junta’s Makenzee Pounds drew a walk, scoring one run.
Lamar lost this key conference game despite outhitting La Junta eight to six. Chloe Weber led the Thunder with three hits.
The Thunder got on the board first in the first inning when Khloe Fernandez grounded out, scoring one run.
A single by Isadora Marmolejo gave La Junta the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the first.
Weber singled on a 0-2 count, which helped Lamar tie the game at two in the top of the third.
A single by Annabelle Morales gave Lamar the lead, 4-2, in the top of the fourth.
But La Junta would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an error, and a ground out by Mormolejo.
Lamar’s Mariah Sigala took the loss working through five inning and one-third innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking four.
La Junta’s Hunter Wallace was the winning pitcher giving up eight hits and four runs over seven innings, striking out seven and walking two.
Morales went 2-for-4 at the plate as the infielder led the team with two runs batted in. Taya Schmidt collected two hits for Lamar in three at bats. The Thunder stole four bases in the game.
Next up for Lamar is a game with Brush on Tuesday, Oct. 3 and then they host a key Tri-Peaks league game against Rocky Ford on Oct. 5.