Golden Eagles streak into state tourney

Jim Benton
Posted 10/18/12

HIGHLANDS RANCH - Mountain Vista will be riding the right arm of senior Jesse Applehans into the Class 5A state softball tournament this weekend. …

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Golden Eagles streak into state tourney


HIGHLANDS RANCH - Mountain Vista will be riding the right arm of senior Jesse Applehans into the Class 5A state softball tournament this weekend.

Applehans was close to perfect, throwing a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over Poudre on a chilly day at Mountain Vista High School. She had a perfect game until an error on a routine ground ball with two outs in the seventh inning forced her to settle for her second no-hitter of the season.

In the Region 2 championship game, Applehans hurled a four-hitter in a 4-1 triumph over Castle View which sent the Golden Eagles into the state tournament for the ninth consecutive season.

The state tournament begins Friday at the Aurora Sports Park and Mountain Vista comes into the two-day event after winning nine of its past 10 games.

“That’s always our goal to try to get to state,” Mountain Vista coach Bret Grammerstorf said. “We’re very excited about getting there. It’s one of those things. You never know.

“You can run into a hot team and right now our pitcher is about as hot as anybody in the state. I like where we are at. She was pretty amazing in the regionals. She was dynamite from the first pitch to the last. She was one pitch away from a perfect game in the first game and threw a no-hitter. She gave up four hits in the second game. That’s a pretty dang good day. I’ll take that anytime.”

Applehans struck out 10 Poudre batters and fanned five in the title game against Castle View.

“I felt really good,” said Applehans. “Our defense was really on and they were all playing behind me. We all brought our best. We knew these would be tough games but we stepped up. I was just trying to get as much movement as I could on my pitches.

“It feels amazing. We’ve had an up and down season but I’m so happy to go to state.”

In the second game, Applehans showed an ability to dodge trouble.

The game was scoreless in the top of the fourth when Castle View’s Sarah Good singled to lead off the inning and moved to third on an errant throw by the catcher on a pickoff attempt.

But, Applehans retired the next three batters on a popup and two strikeouts. The final strikeout came against power-hitting Savannah Heebner, who had homered in Castle View’s 5-1 opening win over Fountain Fort Carson.

“When I went out to the mound, I said it’s not going to be a strike and we’re not going to let her (Heebner) beat us,” Grammerstorf explained. “She got a couple pitches on the outside corner and then we went after her. It worked out great. That was the turning point for us.

“That’s what Jesse has been very good at this year, holding opponents to the lease amount of runs they can get.”

Mountain Vista was very good at getting key hits in both games.

Sydney Cohen, Rachel Johnson and Jacque Rayment had run batted in hits against Poudre and the Golden Eagles exploded for four runs in the bottom of the fifth against Castle View with one run scoring on a wild pitch, Cohen smashing a two-run triple and Dani Shearon driving in Cohen with a single.

Two teams from each of the eight regional tournaments advanced to the state tournament.

Castle View failed to advance as Fountain Fort Carson defeated the Sabercats, 7-5, in nine innings in game postponed until last Sunday because of rain.

However, there will be four other Continental League teams besides Mountain Vista in the state tournaments

League champion Rock Canyon, who has been to the state semifinals twice and the finals once over the past three season, beat Pine Creek 11-1 and Legend 6-0 in the Region 4 tournament in Castle Rock.

Alli McCloskey went 5-for-7 with six RBI in the two games and Zayne Blumberg was 5-for-8 with three RBI in the two victories.

Lauren Paige twirled a no-hitter in the win over Legend.

The Titans rebounded to make the state tournament bracket with a 12-7 win over Fruita Monument In the final two games against Fruita. Madi Hunter went 5-for-7 and was the winning pitcher in the second contest against the Wildcats.

Douglas County won Region 7 tournament in Fort Collins with a 7-0 victory over Pomona and a 5-3 win over Fossil Ridge.

Corell Breanna was the winning pitcher in both games while Laramie Rewerts was 4-fopr-8 with 3RBI in the pair of victories and Morgan Ginger went 4-for-7.

Ponderosa will be playing in the Class 4A state tournament despite losing 4-3 to Erie in the Region 7 tournament in Erie.

The Mustangs beat Pueblo Central 8-0 to advance to the finals against Erie and then beat the Wildcats 9-1 in the game to determine which team would gain a state tournament berth.

Ally Power pitched a one-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts in the first game against Pueblo Central and allowed only two hits in the second game against the Wildcats. Power contributed three hits to Ponderosa’s 14-hit attack in the second game against Pueblo Central and Erin Fincher went 4-for-4.

State tournament pairings were announced Monday.

Rock Canyon (17-4) is seeded sixth and will face No. 11 Ralston Valley at 12:15 p.m. Friday. The Jaguars defeated Ralston Valley 7-5 in the second game of the season. Mountain Vista (15-6) is seeded seventh and will open against No. 10 Fossil Ridge. Legend (9-11) is the No. 15 seed and will play No. 2 Dakota Ridge. Both games are scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. Douglas County (16-5) is the No. 8 seed and will play at 10 a.m. game against No. 9 Eaglecrest.

In the Class 4A bracket, Ponderosa (14-8) is the No. 12 seed and draws No. 5 Frederick in a 10 a.m. game.


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