Top-seeded Rock Canyon was eliminated from the 5A state quarterfinal softball playoffs with a 1-0 loss to Grand Junction Central on Oct. 8 at Rock Canyon.
One might call the loss bad, baffling, difficult, tough or any other adjective since there were only three hits in the game, one by Rock Canyon and two by Central.
Grand Junction Central scored an unearned run in the sixth inning for the only scoring in a pitching duel between the Warriors’ Kennedy Vis and the Jaguars’ Anna Reimers.
“All losses are tough,,” said Rock Canyon coach Mike Desimone, whose team finished with a 16-2 record. “It’s a great group of kids. This group of kids and this group of seniors won over 82% of their games in four years. They accomplished a lot but didn’t accomplish the ultimate goal that they wanted, but they accomplished almost everything else they did. They completed two consecutive undefeated league (Continental) seasons. You always want more for them.”
Grand Junction Central’s Myra Murdock lined a double to left centerfield with two outs in the sixth and scored when Sidona Johnston’s hard-hit grounder to deep short was ruled a hit and scored Murdock.
Reimers allowed only those two hits and struck out 12 batters.
Rock Canyon, which has a 73-19 record over the past four seasons, loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning but didn’t score.
Bryn Johnson was hit by a pitch, Audrey Burt got the Jaguars’ only hit of the game with a single and Annika Sprague reached on a fielder’s choice after an error at third base.
However, Vis struck out the Jaguars’ leading hitter in Katie Dack.
“She a great athlete and she will do well in college. (Texas A&M),” said Desimone. “She just wanted to do it so badly for her team. She was just probably trying too hard.”
Vis struck out six and induced several popups to the infield and plenty of grounders.
“She kept us off base,” said Desimone. “They kind of went away from their script which they normally do which was great from their part. We had a hard time of adjusting. It doesn’t matter now but typically they throw outside but they came inside a lot more on us and threw a lot more rise balls than they normally do. And they executed.”
Central improved to 15-3 and avenged an early season 3-0 loss to Rock Canyon. In the past four games heading into the Oct. 10 state semifinals, the Warriors defeated four Continental League teams in Regis Jesuit, Castle View, Legend and Rock Canyon.
In Class 5A first-round games on Oct. 6, Rock Canyon stopped Legacy, 11-1, as Sydney Boulaphinh went 3-for-4 and drove in six runs.
Grand Junction Central got a three-run homer from Myah Arrieta in the first inning and made it hold up for a 3-2 win over Legend, which managed only four hits.
Lakewood scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and edged Douglas County 5-3. Freshman Jenna Madison had two of Douglas County’s four hits.
Chatfield romped to a 13-2 victory over Regis Jesuit.
Lutheran, a first-year softball program, advanced to the Class 3A semifinals which were held Oct. 10 at Aurora Sports Park.
The Lions downed Sterling, 9-3 on Oct. 6 as Taylor Cramer sparked the team with three hits. On Oct. 10, Lutheran collected 15 hits and beat Strasburg, 9-3. Cramer and Zoe Stanzyk each had three hits for the Lions.
Third-seeded Lutheran, a first-year program, defeated defending state champion University, 14-3, in the semifinals but lost to top-seeded Eaton, 5-1 in the 3A championship game on Oct. 19 at Aurora Sports Park.
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