If there is one word to sum up the Sept. 22 matchup against Mountain Range (6-8) and Legacy (9-3) softball, it would be wild. Tallying 10 runs apiece in the first three innings, the scoring may have …
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If there is one word to sum up the Sept. 22 matchup against Mountain Range (6-8) and Legacy (9-3) softball, it would be wild.
Tallying 10 runs apiece in the first three innings, the scoring may have slowed down in the final six innings, but the drama only amplified as the visiting Legacy Lightning took the high scoring match-up 14-12.
Starting the contest quickly, Legacy scored three in top half of the first on two hits, a sacrifice fly, and an MR error before the Lady Mustangs had their best offensive bottom half of the day.
Tallying seven runs on two walks and six hits, the home team found themselves up four going to the second. But, as they did all game, Legacy responded.
“We’ve been working on the difference between working hard and competing,” Legacy manager Dawn Gaffin said in an email after the contest. “What does that look like? How does it feel? What’s the difference? We even did an example trial of what the two words looked like in practice one day. The girls stepped up and demonstrated what it means to compete and to finish strong.”
Notching things at seven, four singles from Legacy sophomore Samantha Bocis and juniors Reese Mansur, Elena Free and Janessa Esquibel ended the second. Mountain Range responded yet again, this time on a two-out, three-run homer by junior Miranda Harrelson, swinging momentum back to the home squad.
The tie didn’t last long, however.
Three more singles from the Lady Lighting started the third, as a sacrifice fly from junior Leah Connor placed us at 10s. The bottom half of the frame is when Legacy sophomore pitcher Khloe Kubitschek found her rhythm in the circle, halting the talented MR lineup for the next four innings.
“It’s always a strategy at the beginning of the game to find the umpire’s zone and how it fits in with your pitching repertoire. Sometimes it’s not the pitcher, but finding that balance of the zone, hitting her spots, and what the hitter can/cannot hit. for the most part, she was hitting the pitches that we called for her like a champ,” Gaffin said. “We had some varying results and we had to adjust. There was never a doubt.”
Taking their first lead since first inning, a leadoff hit by pitch by junior Chloe Castenada against MR junior hurler Jaelyn Martinez came around to score in the top of the fifth. An insurance run two innings later placed the contest at 12-10. But as they did all afternoon, the Lady Mustangs never gave in.
Back-to-back-to-back walks to begin the bottom of the seventh put the bases loaded before a two-run double by senior Meredith Halweg tied it up at 12.
Clutch defensive-play of the road team carried into the eighth as well, after not scoring in the top half. Putting the bases loaded with one-out, a strikeout from Kubitschek followed by a great play at second from Connor, extended the affair.
“Well, softball is a lot like chess, sometimes,” Gaffin said. “We make a move, they make a counter move. The key is to bear down, focus, make the plays that need to be made, and control your fear. We practice these things daily. It didn’t start out the way we planned, but they didn’t give up, they kept chipping away at the chances they were given, and they finished strong. It’s been a long-standing competition every time we play (Mountain Range).”
The ninth is when Legacy broke through after loading the bases and getting a two-run RBI double from Free. Holding on in the bottom half, a diving play in right field from Mansur capped one of the best softball games you will see, moving the Lady Lightning to 6-1 in conference play.
Mountain Range recorded 15 hits in the defeat as juniors Harrelson and Martinez led the way with three apiece. Juniors Jadynn Alvarado, Teagan Lierman, freshman Breanna Blair and Halweg followed with two each. Harrelson led the Lady Mustangs with three RBI’s while Halweg, Lierman, Alvarado and Blair had two.
On the other side, 16 hits for Legacy as Mansur tallied four to lead the group (all infield singles). Aragon also tallied three hits and two walks herself to help kick-start the top of the Lady Lightning lineup. With no seniors on the roster, the present and future is bright for this talented group from Broomfield.
To end the week, Legacy fell Saturday to Ralston Valley while Mountain Range couldn’t contain Monarch on Thursday.
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