Cheyenne freshman Kaitlyn Dutton will readily admit that she didn’t have her best stuff in the pitcher’s circle Saturday against Chaparral. Too many balls up in the zone, she’d say.
The visiting Cowboys might disagree with that admission.
Dutton tossed a two-hitter with eight strikeouts to lead the Desert Shields to a 12-2 win over Chaparral (4-4) in five innings. She also went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI for Cheyenne (7-3).
“I did OK,” Dutton said. “Not the best, but I’m just starting and getting better. I’m hoping that this is just the beginning and I progress throughout the season.”
Dutton, who battled through a left knee injury earlier this season, gave up no earned runs on two hits and two walks to win her fifth game for Cheyenne, which scored seven runs on six hits in the fifth inning to trigger the run-rule.
Dutton didn’t allow a hit after the second inning and struck out the side in the second and fourth innings.
Her pitching gave the Desert Shields plenty of breathing room until the bats exploded late in the game.
Cheyenne scored three runs in the first inning and led 5-2 after the third, but never got going offensively until the fifth, when it batted around the lineup on 22 pitches.
“They just finally started attacking the fastball,” Cheyenne coach Teri Hernandez said. “We still need to work on starting quicker. We had a very slow start offensively. We need to see the fastball and attack it a lot sooner.”
After Arieth Estrada led off the fifth inning with a groundout to first, the Desert Shields put their next eight batters on base. Victoria Rosales, who finished 2-for-3 with three runs and one stolen base, hit a two-run triple to score Kylie Clark and Sabrina Stafford to extend Cheyenne’s lead to 7-2.
Rosales scored on a single by Taylor Cole, who scored along with Jonnette Paddy on a double by Italy Mora to make the score 10-2.
Dutton scored on a single by Brittny Phillips to make the score 11-2, and Mora scored on a fielder’s choice in Estrada’s second at-bat of the inning to end the game.
Mora was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, and Cole finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
“(Cole) got hot today,” Hernandez said. “She got really hot. She’s been struggling, so I was really happy to see her break out.”
Tabitha Mabry went 1-for-3 with a run for Chaparral. She scored in the first inning off two errors to give the Cowboys a 1-0 lead.
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson.