Arapahoe High School scored early using the long ball but relied on manufacturing runs in a sixth-inning rally which led to an 11-9 victory over rival Heritage High in a game played Aug. 20 at Arapahoe.
It was Centennial-based Arapahoe’s fifth straight softball win over Heritage in the Littleton crosst-district rivalry and pulled the Warriors even in the series at 6-6 in games played since the 2009 season.
“Ever since I’ve been at Arapahoe we’ve always beaten Heritage and it’s always been a great game,” said Warriors senior shortstop Michelle Salazar, who went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in.
“I feel like I played my best,” she said. “It’s my senior year so I’m here to go all-out.”
Salazar belted a two-run homer in the third inning and drove in two more runs with a single to start a six-run, sixth-inning outburst which erased a 7-5 deficit after the Eagles had rallied for five runs in the top of the sixth.
“Our players went up to the plate with a good approach and had good quality at-bats,” Arapahoe coach Josh Franklin said of the sixth inning in which the Warriors had four hits and one of them was a bunt as the team won its third straight game this season.
Heritage (2-2) had an error, three walks and three wild pitches during the inning.
“When they got two strikes on them, they did a good job of fouling pitches off until they got a good pitch to handle,” added Franklin. “They did a good job of quality at-bat after quality at-bat.
“Heritage is a very good ball club this year. They did a great job or responding after they got down, came right back on us and put the pressure back on us. We were fortunate to come out on top.”
Taylor Miller had two hits and pitched seven innings for Arapahoe. She helped herself with a three-run home run in the fourth inning and got the final Heritage batter to ground out in the seventh inning with the tying run at the plate.
Lakyn Wilkinson had a double and had a two-run homer in the sixth inning rally in the Warriors’ 14-hit attack.
Heritage third baseman Darby Kramp was 3-for-3 and was walked intentionally. She belted a two-run homer in the top of the seventh as she raised her batting average to .727 after four games.
Jayden Winkler and Sophie Mangiameli had two hits each for Heritage.
“I thought the girls played good,” said Heritage coach Daron Schulthies. “Those three home runs killed us and they took advantage of it. We battled the whole game until the last out.
“We got the lead and then kind of got sloppy out there in the sixth inning, gave them a chance and they took advantage of it.”
A military appreciation day was held in connection with the Discovery Canon at Highlands Ranch girls softball game on Aug. 21.
Both teams raised money for the Fort Carson Emergency Relief Fund and players from both teams played for and recognized a military person. The players held signs for whom they were playing before the game.
The field was lined with blue, red and white foul lines and the umpires even had USA shirts. Highlands Ranch uniform jerseys had the names of all the U.S. armed forces branches on them.
Discovery Canyon won the game, 12-5.
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