MPHS softball: Team clobbers Steamboat Springs |

MPHS softball: Team clobbers Steamboat Springs

On the comeback trail from last year’s winless season, Middle Park High’s softball team proved just how good they are this season by clobbering Steamboat Springs in a home doubleheader on Wednesday.

The Panther girls trounced the Sailors in both games by scores of 23-7 and 19-0. The dual victories put the team’s 2008 season record at 10-4.

“Right now, we’re guaranteed at least a .500 season,” said Coach Robbie Cheesman. “After last year, this is a huge accomplishment for these kids. It shows that we’re now on the right track.”

While the final results for both of Wednesday’s games makes it appear that Middle Park clearly dominated, it did not look that way in the opening innings of the first game. By the top of third inning, both teams were tied 7-7.

“I think we showed up for that first game while still asleep,” Cheesman said. “I wish we had Red Bull as a sponsor because we definitely needed something to wake us up.”

The Panthers found that something when their adrenaline finally kicked in at the bottom of the third inning when they went on a hitting spree that racked up seven runs. The Sailors were only able to respond with a single run at the top of the fourth inning.

Coming back up to bat at the bottom of the fourth inning, Middle Park ballplayers began another hitting spree that put the game away with nine more runs. When they were done, the Colorado High School Activities Association’s (CHSAA) 10-run rule then went into effect, ending further play with the Panthers winning 23-7.

Middle Park batters Becca Hugley, Kathryn Woodard and Katie Mattfield earned home runs during the first game.

“The Steamboat pitcher was a little erratic but when she got the ball into the strike zone, we hit it hard,” Cheesman said. “The way we were hitting the ball, I’d have like to have bottled that game so we could use it in the future.”

Having trounced Sailors in the first game, the Panther girls kept the momentum going into the doubleheader’s second game. That one only went four innings once again with Middle Park shutting out Steamboat, 19-0.

“What a difference a game can make,” Cheesman said. “We were wide awake and we played like we were state champions.”

The Panther batters immediately went to work in the second game’s first inning, racking up an incredible 10 runs. They followed it three runs in the second inning, four in the third and two in the fourth.

Becca Hugley hit an over-the-fence home run during the second game. Corrine Zimmerly also earned a homer.

The team’s batting stats were impressive with 15 hits. Hugley went 3 for 3 at bat; Katlyn Anderson, 2 for 3; Madlyn Clancy, 2 for 2; Hannah Davidson, 2 for 2; and Camille Clancy, 2 for 2.

While Middle Park’s batters were red hot, the team’s defense was also outstanding. Panther pitcher Katy Mulligan allowed Steamboat only one hit while striking out 11 of its batters.

The second game ended as the first one did with the CHSAA’s 10-run rule going into effect, ending further play at the conclusion of the fourth inning. A provision of that rule requires softball games to go a minimum of four innings which is why Middle Park was able to run up the 19-0 score.

“This was an overall team win for us,” Cheesman said. “We came together as a team and put one on them.”

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