CHEYENNE – It was only fitting the Cheyenne East softball team’s first win in program history came against its crosstown rival.
The Lady Thunderbirds captured a 15-4 win over Cheyenne Central on Thursday evening in the first game of the doubleheader.
“It was pretty exciting,” East coach Adam Galicia said. “I’ve been a part of the East-Central rivalry as a competitor back in my day, and as a parent, but I’ve never been part of it as a coach … to come in and get this win, it feels amazing.”
Both pitchers started the contest finding different ways to get outs. East’s batters were putting the ball in play through the first three innings, but Central’s defense wasn’t allowing for any easy on-base opportunities.
T-Birds pitcher Ariana Galicia found her rhythm early and had seven strikeouts through the first three innings.
“Ariana coming in and hitting her spots, she was able to shut them down,” Adam Galicia said. “They have some pretty big hitters in that 1-5, 1-6 spot and that set the tone for the game.”
In the third inning, East managed to take a 1-0 lead when Emily Schlagel doubled and Trista Stehwein lofted one over second base, bringing Schlagel home.
The fourth inning was where the T-Birds capitalized on Central’s miscues and quickly extend their lead, scoring eight runs in the frame.
“We had some crucial errors, there were a couple of misreads on the ball there and they were aggressive on the base paths,” Central coach Carrie Barker said. “Those errors will hurt you.”
Following a walk with the bases loaded that brought in a run, Stehwein knocked a triple to center field that cleared the bases. Gracie Oswald scored Stehwein with a single on the following at bat to cap the huge inning.
“We were definitely able to take advantage of any error Central had and we’d rally,” Stehwein said. “That’s when we took off is when we capitalized on those mistakes.”
East (2-4) continued to string together hits and put runs on the board to keep the pressure on Central.
Ariana Galicia finished with 14 strikeouts. Oswald had three hits and three runs batted in. Stehwein knocked in four runs on three hits.
After a slow start to the season, it’s good to see improvement coming from his team, Galicia said.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with our progress in the past couple of weeks,” the coach said.
EAST 15, CENTRAL 4
Cheyenne East……………. 001 812 3 – 15 17 1
Cheyenne Central………… 000 103 0 – 4 8 4
Cheyenne East pitching: Galicia and Stehwein. Cheyenne Central pitching: Allen and Gebhart.
W: Galicia. L: Allen.
2B: East 1 (Schlagel); Central 1 (Bunch). 3B: East 2 (Oswald, Stehwein); Central 1 (Moyte).
Cheyenne East 8 Cheyenne Central 5
CHEYENNE – East carried its momentum from the first game into the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader to secure an 8-5 win and a sweep.
The T-Birds started the game scoring a quick three runs. Central countered with two runs of its own in the opening inning. East got its bats going in the third inning, scoring four runs with the help of a two-run single from Oswald.
Central responded with three runs of its own but couldn’t cut into the lead any more than that.
Oswald finished with three RBIs for East. Cameron Moyte went 3 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs.
EAST 8, CENTRAL 5
Cheyenne East……………….314 00 – 8 7 1
Cheyenne Central……………202 10 – 5 6 2
Cheyenne East pitching: Christensen (5). Cheyenne Central pitching: Ackerman, Hinz.
2B: East 1 (Oswald); Central 1 (Moyte). 3B: East 2 (Valleho, Neider); Central 2 (Moyte, Gashler.)