A late surge by the Lady Norsemen wasn’t enough to overcome a 7-run deficit in the first round of the 5A Softball Regionals at Broomfield Community Park Oct. 13. Despite allowing three runs late, …
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A late surge by the Lady Norsemen wasn’t enough to overcome a 7-run deficit in the first round of the 5A Softball Regionals at Broomfield Community Park Oct. 13. Despite allowing three runs late, Legacy (21-4, 11-0 in conference) led by senior pitcher Isabella Kelly escaped with the victory, 7-3.
It took one batter in the bottom of the first to get things going for the Lady Lightning. Off of Northglenn (14-11, 8-1 in conference) senior Analiese Rodriguez, senior leadoff batter Lauren Strathearn singled before a pitch hit junior Riley Olson. Lightning then struck on a two-run RBI single to left-center field by senior Logan Taylor to give the No. 5 seed the lead they didn’t let up.
Kelly didn’t need much more help.
Despite the early control issues in the first inning, the right-hander settled down. Allowing just two hits through the first four innings, she was in control, and her offense didn’t slow down.
Not much changed in the bottom half of the second inning when junior Alyssa Achuleta’s leadoff double put Legacy right back in business. A couple of sloppy defensive plays by Northglenn helped push Achuleta home before Strathearn followed with a 2-out double, scoring another run due to the lackluster defense.
With the score 4-0 going to the third, Kelly on the mound escaped a jam with runners on first and second. A 3-run bottom half for the Lady Lightning tallied for their final runs of the night.
The last scoring frame for Legacy started with a leadoff walk to senior Morgan Hernandez-Belew. After the sacrifice bunt by junior Samantha Conradie, Achuleta struck again with an RBI-double down the left field line to score Hernandez-Belew. Pinch-hitting, freshman Esquibel Janessa capped the inning scoring-wise with a 1-out, 2-run RBI double to the left-center field gap to put the game out of hand; at least some thought.
Taking over with 1-out in the third, Lady Norsemen sophomore Kaylie Huggins toed the rubber and didn’t allow a run. Over the righties 4 2/3 innings, she recorded two 1-2-3 innings and two hits.
Finally, in the top of the fifth, Northglenn gained a spark.
After a leadoff single and hit by pitch by juniors Sidney Wilson and Viviana Caldera respectively, the No. 28 seed had life. A 1-out intentional walk to Rodriguez set-up senior Callissa Lucero with the bases loaded. The clean-up hitter, as she did multiple times on the day came through. This time a sacrifice fly to right field plated the lineups first run of the day.
The sixth inning went by quietly before Northglenn had their final chance in the top of the seventh.
With two outs and the game on the line, another intentional walk to Rodriguez forced Lucero to the plate. As the veteran did the earlier, she smacked the ball to right field, this time over the head and to the wall. A batter later, the Lady Norsemen stayed alive via an error that brought home Lucero to cut the lead to four. Unfortunately for Northglenn, they ran out of outs.
Despite the defeat, Northglenn played again against Cherry Creek (15-11, 5-2 in conference) a couple of hours later to potentially stay alive in the regional tournament. After a two-run sixth and seventh inning for CC, Northglenn couldn’t pull out the victory, ending their season with a 6-5 defeat.
Offensively with nine hits against Cherry Creek, freshman Nevaeh Rodriguez, A. Rodriguez, and Wilson recorded two hits. Senior Isabelle Haynes drove in two runs as Wilson had one.
Legacy followed their win against Northglenn with a convincing 7-0 victory over Regis Jesuit (15-11, 6-4 in conference) to clinch a spot in the state tournament starting Oct. 19 at Aurora Sports Park. The opponent and time of their first game in the tournament is TBD.
Against the Lady Raiders, junior Hannah Farley dominated with nine strikeouts. Allowing just four hits and one walk, she needed 96 pitches to record the complete-game shutout.
At the plate, Strathearn, Conradie, and Olson had two hits. Olson led the lineup with two RBI’s followed by one apiece from freshman Kendall Aragon, Strathearn and Conradie.
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