THORNTON – Frederick and Golden high schools played twice in the class 4A regional tournament at Riverdale Ridge High School, which wasn’t what coach Roger Dufour was anticipating.
After a 9-8 loss in the morning session Oct. 16, FHS bounced back to beat the Demons 12-6 and qualify for the state 4A softball tournament. It starts Friday, Oct. 22, at Aurora Sports Park, East Colfax Avenue and Tower Road.
GHS built a four-run lead in the opener before surviving a late Warriors’ rally to pick up the win. With two outs, Kyla Mares and Ali Davis singled to score Haley Howell, who walked earlier in the inning. Kaitlyn Meyer’s double scored Mares and Davis. But Golden’s CJ Sherman was able to retire the side with the tying run standing at second base.
“We came out a little flat this morning,” Dufour said. “I’m not taking anything away from Golden. They swing it. They come up to the plate with confidence. But I didn’t think we played to our best. We were right in that game this morning.”
His advice to the Warriors was pretty straight forward.
“The big thing is I told our girls, ‘You stay up, no matter what,’” Dufour said. “I’ve seen it too often where the team coming off that second-game loss (in this case, Riverdale Ridge beat the Demons 11-1) is a little flat. That was the case today. We came out fired up. It took them a few innings to get going.”
In the nightcap, Frederick built a nine-run lead before GHS cut it to three runs in the middle innings. Frederick countered with a two-run, sixth-inning rally to settle the issue once and for all. Howell, who was the winning pitcher started things by reaching on an error. Bella Hewitt’s double brought home on run. Kaila Mares on another Demons’ fielding error, which brought home Jaelyn Lewis with FHS’ last run.
Sais and Clapp had three hits in the state tournament-clinching win. Avery Salisbury drove in two runs. Hewitt, Howell and Davis had two hits.
Frederick’s other win in the tournament was at the expense of Palisade High School by a score of 14-0 in three inning. Howell drove in two runs for the Warriors. Davis, who threw a three-hitter and picked up the win, helped cause at the plate with a pair of base hits. Clapp also had two base hits.
“It was a total team effort,” Dufour said. “Haley struggled a little bit this morning. She gathered her composure and threw a pretty strong (second) game (against Golden).”
The state tournament pairings were due out Oct. 18, after press time.
“Even at regionals, I said you have to beat the team in front of you,” Dufour said. “I know there was one upset. At this point, you don’t have to beat them all. You just have to beat the one you’re matched up with.”
Here's the bracket
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