Legend, boosted by two solid pitching performances by sophomore Cameron Ponich and some timely hitting, notched two key Continental League softball wins during the final week of the regular season.
Rock Canyon won the league championship and gained an automatic berth into the state tournament, but Legend, Douglas County and Regis Jesuit battled to improve their places in the RPI standings, which helped determine the rest of the state tournament bracket besides the league champs.
Ponich pitched a shutout as Legend downed Douglas County, 10-0, in an Oct. 1 game played at Legend. Then on Oct. 2 at Regis, Ponich was touched for three runs in the first inning but silenced the Raiders the rest of the game as the Titans secured an 8-3 win.
In the Douglas County game, Ponich surrendered five hits in the five-inning game, while Kayla Locke, Vic Wharton and Kaylyn English each had two hits. Locke drove in four runs. Wharton scored twice and English three times.
Ponich pitched out of trouble in both games. Douglas County loaded the bases in the second inning but failed to score. Regis had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning, but Ponich induced a grounder back to the pitcher, which she turned into a double play.
Legend finished second in the Continental League with an 8-2 record behind 15-1 Rock Canyon. Legend had a 12-4 overall mark. Douglas County (7-3, 11-5) and Regis (7-3, 10-5) tied for third place.
After the windup of the league, Rock Canyon topped the RPI standings and Legend was ninth, Douglas County 11thand Regis 13th.
First round games in the modified Class 5A state tournament started on Oct. 6.
In other games during the final week of the Continental League season, Rock Canyon downed Chaparral, 10-4, in a Sept. 28 contest as Anna Reimers and Katie Dack each had three hits for the Jaguars. Reimers, Dack and Annika Sprague each belted homers for Rock Canyon.
Lexi Garcia went 3-for-3 with three RBI and a homer for Chaparral.
Rock Canyon defeated Ponderosa 11-4 on Sept. 30 as junior Campbell Coddington and freshman Sydney Boulaphinh each had three RBI in the game. Lauren Stucky had three hits for Ponderosa.
Regis built a 9-3 lead and held on to edge Ponderosa, 9-7, in a Sept. 28 affair as junior Kaylee Eyle had three hits and two runs batted in for the Mustangs.
Douglas County’s Marina Tinari and Channing Bower combined to pitch a three-hitter in the Huskies’ 6-2 win over Heritage on Sept. 30.
ThunderRidge edged Chaparral, 9-8, on Sept. 30 as freshman Alyssa Hunter had a double, home run and four RBI for the winners. Garcia and Kendal Fengler each had three hits for Chaparral.
Highlands Ranch scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to trim Heritage, 11-10, in an Oct. 2 game that featured a combined 25 hits. Julea Atencio had three hits and scored three times for the Eagles.
In the first games of the Centennial League tournament on Sept. 29, Cherry Creek senior Alex Gruitch hurled a three-hit shutout in a 7-0 win over Mullen, and Arapahoe downed Grandview, 14-6. Senior Leah Cackowski and junior Michelle Salazar each went 3-for-5 with five runs batted in for the Warriors.
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