Granby: Lady Panthers lose two games on Front Range
Sky-Hi Daily News
Last Saturday, Sept. 27 is a day that Middle Park High’s softball team would rather forget after the Panther girls were whipped soundly by two different teams.
Played at Platte Canyon High School, that day of defeats began with Middle Park’s ball players suffering through a 19-8 thrashing administered by the host Huskies.
After that lopsided loss, the Panther girls resumed a rain-delayed game with Denver Lutheran. When it ended, Middle Park had fallen hard before the Lights by a score of 24-5.
“It was a humbling day,” said coach Robbie Cheesman. “We really didn’t play that badly, but we just couldn’t get the outs on the other teams.”
As the first game started, it looked as if the Panther girls would do quite well, racking up four runs at the top of the first inning. Doubles were hit by Corrine Zimmerly and Jillian Yaklich while singles were batted by Becca Hugley and Katlyn Anderson.
“When we got off the bus, we really pounded the ball in the first inning,” Cheesman said.
However, at the bottom of the first inning, Platte Canyon’s Huskies produced its own hitting spree, taking over the lead with eight runs.
“After that we just couldn’t get any hits in the second, third or fourth innings,” Cheesman said.
Meanwhile, Platte Canyon continued to score with four more runs in the second inning, one in the third and one in the fourth.
At the top of the fifth inning, the Panther batters finally began hitting again. Four runs were scored by Zimmerly, Hugley, Emily Geberding and Lilah Clancy.
However, Middle Park’s rally was quickly erased at the bottom of the fifth inning by the Huskies who earned five more runs. That forced the Colorado High School Activities Association’s (CHSAA) 10-run rule to go into effect, ending the game with a score of 19-8.
“We had a few breakdowns that put us into a hole that we just couldn’t get out of,” Cheesman said.
During the game against Platte Canyon, some of Middle Park’s batters did earn good results. Corrine Zimmerly and Alex Gallegos both went 3 for 3 with Gallegos earning three RBIs. Becca Hugley and Jillian Yaklich were both 2 for 3 at bat.
Panther pitcher Katy Mulligan earned three strikeouts in the first game.
In Saturday’s second game, Middle Park was pitted against Denver Lutheran. The matchup was a resumption of the two team’s rain-delayed game held at the Panthers’ ballfield on Sept. 11.
Resuming play at the top of the third inning, Middle Park found itself already trailing the Lights by a score of 8-1.
“Everything kind of snowballed from there,” Cheesman said. “About the only bright spot for us was Becca Hugley, who hit a grand slam home run in the fourth inning.”
Those four runs in the fourth inning were added to the one that Middle Park had previously. The game ended at the bottom of the fourth inning after Denver Lutheran ran up the score of 24-5 and the CHSAA 10-run rule was invoked.
“We learned a lesson in humility from this game,” Cheesman said. “Our kids also learned that they’ve got to take care of business or you end up with a game like this.”
Despite the two losses, Cheesman is confident Middle Park can pull off victories in the two remaining games of the regular season. On Thursday, Oct. 2, the Panthers play Peak to Peak in Lafayette at 4:30 p.m. Then on Saturday, Oct. 4, they travel to Denver to play Arrupe Jesuit at 10 a.m.
“Our hope is to win these next two games and finish the regular season with a 12-6 record,” he said. “That will give us good momentum going into the regionals.”
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Three Winter Park athletes are headed to the upcoming X Games in Aspen from Friday through Sunday.