Lady Bulldogs drop two games on the frozen tundra of Gillette

Mark DeLap
Posted 4/25/23

Bulldogs frozen in Gillette

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Lady Bulldogs drop two games on the frozen tundra of Gillette


GILLETTE – With icy wind chills and a frozen field, the Lady Bulldogs also had to contend with the Coaches and Media No. 2-ranked Campbell County and ended up losing a pair by the scores of 11-1 and 15-4.

“That was so stinking miserable, and we will not be doing that again,” coach Jodi Fitzwater. “I felt so bad for the players and how cold they were. We went through so many hand warmers it was crazy.”

Last Tuesday, the Lady Bulldogs junior varsity softball team traveled to play Cheyenne East’s JV in a one game outing. The girls earned the victory with a 23-9 score over Cheyenne East. Kierstyn Coller led the team by tallying four hits.

She homered in the first inning, singled in the second, singled in the third, and singled in the fifth while earning sending four runners across the plate.

The Bulldogs had a huge inning in the fourth by scoring 12 runs with the offensive firepower generated by Mackenzie Lockman, Edyn Whitney, Tatum Struble, Coller, Traylea Folland and Delaney Aurich, who all drove in runs.

The Lady Bulldogs also were quick on the basepaths by stealing 10 bases during the game with Aurich leading the team with four. Struble was credited with the victory for Wheatland. She lasted two and a third innings, allowing two hits and three runs while striking out five. Aurich threw one and two-thirds innings in relief out of the bullpen.

On a snowy Friday, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Gillette to play Campbell County. The weather was not promising for gameplay due to the cold weather and wind chills, but the team went anyway in hopes of not having to make up more games.

“Needless to say, the Bulldogs played in the coldest weather they have ever played in,” Fitzwater said. “During the first game, which was the conference game, the Campbell County varsity captured an early lead and easily walked away with a win after six innings by a score of 11-1.”

The Bulldogs struggled to contain the high-powered offense of Campbell County and were no match for Campbell County’s pitcher as she only allowed four hits, struck out 14 and allowed zero walks.

Camryn Mickelsen, Lockman, Karley Adams and Struble each had one hit for the Bulldogs. Lockman was in the circle for the Bulldogs and she lasted 5 innings, allowing 17 hits and 11 runs during the game. During the second game, the Bulldogs fell again by a score of 15-4.

“We were able to gain more hits this game with a total of six, only two strike outs, and one base-on-balls, but again, we were no match for Campbell County’s hitting,” Fitzwater said. “We definitely put the bat on the ball better, but the hits had a hard time finding a hole in the defense of Campbell County.”

Struble, Mickelsen, Lockman, Rylee Coats, Hunter Sisson, and Jayden McDaniel each had a hit during the game. Struble was on the bump for the Bulldogs, allowing 16 hits, had one strike out and walked four batters.

“These games were possibly the toughest games the girls have ever played in due to the cold weather,” Fitzwater said. “By the time the second game started, the ‘feels like temp’ was in the teens and players were for sure feeling the effects of the cold. The coaches were proud of them not giving up and playing through the elements presented. Needless to say, it is not weather that we ever want to play again.”

The team had a game scheduled for April 20 against Thunder Basin in Gillette, but it had to be rescheduled due to the snow and cold weather. That game has been rescheduled for Monday, May 15, in Gillette. The upcoming week for the Lady Bulldogs will actually be quite slow in regard to game play. The junior varsity will play in Cheyenne against Cheyenne Central April 24, at 3 and 5 p.m. On Friday, the Bulldogs will travel to Laramie to play the Plainsmen at 4 and 6 p.m.