Despite cold and dreary conditions, two local softball teams are flying into the 5A state tournament. Both the Golden Eagles of Mountain Vista and …
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Despite cold and dreary conditions, two local softball teams are
flying into the 5A state tournament.
Both the Golden Eagles of Mountain Vista and the Falcons of
Highlands Ranch qualified for the championship bracket during
regional play Oct. 11. Mountain Vista won the Region 4 tournament,
while Highlands Ranch advanced from Region 3 as the runner-up.
Playoff seeding was to be announced Oct. 14. Log on to www.highlandsranchherald.com
for more information.
As for regional play, the Eagles won both games at the Barnes
Complex in Loveland by identical 5-1 scores. Vista downed Poudre
(10-9) in the morning’s preliminary round and then dispatched of
Cherokee Trail (12-7) that afternoon to win the region.
The Eagles scored all the runs they would need in the second
inning versus Poudre as Randi Applehans doubled to score Anne Fox
before coming home herself on a single by Lauren Dalton. Cedar
Blazek blasted a home run in the third inning and Hannah Antista
singled home Brooke Healey in the sixth. Dalton finished the
scoring when she stole home, also in the sixth inning.
Healey was 2-for-3 in the contest while Antista finished
2-for-4. Kelly Unkrich earned the win, pitching seven innings and
allowing five hits with no walks. She struck out six.
In the day’s second game, Vista did its damage in the third and
fifth innings. Blazek had a single to score Dalton in the third
inning with a passed ball allowing Antista to score providing the
eventual winning run. The Eagles pushed home three more runs in the
fifth, with RBI singles from Kam Smallwood and Fox, and an RBI
double by Marina Long.
Fox was 2-for-2 on the day while Unkrich again earned the win,
working all seven innings with just two hits and two walks allowed
and fanning 14 Cherokee Trail batters.
“Given the conditions it was a little tough to stay totally
motivated, but the kids did a good job of it,” head coach Brett
Grammerstorf said. “We got good pitching and timely hitting in both
games, and we made the majority of plays. That’s how you win. Now
we have some confidence going into the weekend.”
The road was a little longer for Highlands Ranch in its quest to
qualify for states at Garden Acres in Longmont. After beating
Eaglecrest (11-7) in the morning, 13-3, the Falcons fell to Ralston
Valley (11-8) by a score of 6-2 in the region championship game.
This put Ranch into a rematch with Eaglecrest, and again the
Falcons dominated, winning 15-5 to punch their ticket to
It was an offensive day for the Falcons, who recorded 35 hits in
the three games. Katie Rutherford had six hits on the day and drove
in eight, including a three-run home run in the second game against
Eaglecrest. Leia Swierczerwski banged out seven hits with five RBI
and five runs scored, including a two-run home run to account for
all the scoring versus Ralston Valley, while Kamee Vessey also
drove in five runs. Vessey blasted home runs in both games against
Tahnea Leeling was another catalyst with five hits and four RBI
on the day, including a home run in the first meeting with
Eaglecrest. And don’t forget Danielle Williams, who was 3-for-3 in
the first game with a two-run double and drove in four runs for the
Kaitlin York pitched all three games for Ranch, working a total
of 17 innings. She allowed three hits and two walks with nine
strikeouts in the first game, but struggled in the rematch with
Eaglecrest, allowing 10 hits. York allowed 11 hits to Ralston
Valley, but did not walk a batter in either of the last two
“We accomplished the goal we set out to, which was to qualify
for the state tournament,” head coach Jeff Markle said. “To stay up
there and play three games in pretty tough weather, I’m so proud of
how the girls were able to fight through, especially after losing
the second game.”
“This has been a good character team all season,” Markle said, “
and they knew their season was on the line.”
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