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MPHS softball team ends season, 11-7

Will Bublitz
wbublitz@grandcountynews.com
Granby, Colorado

A lopsided win and loss were the results for the last two regular-season games by Middle Park High School’s softball team.

The Panther girls suffered a 17-3 pasting from Peak to Peak on Thursday, Oct. 2, but recovered quickly to inflict at 21-5 trouncing on Arrupe Jesuit last Saturday, Oct. 4.

“We ended our 2008 regular season with an 11-7 record, which was a sea change from last year,” said Coach Robbie Cheesman. During their 2007 season, the Panthers were winless.



A tough loss

In last Thursday’s 17-3 loss on Peak to Peak’s diamond in Lafayette, Middle Park’s ballplayers began the game well, but then lost steam as their opponents surged into the lead during the later innings.



“We played a really tough three innings and jumped out to an early lead at the top of the first inning,” Cheesman said.

Corrine Zimmerly and Katlyn Anderson scored the team’s first two runs off a single batted by Becca Hugley.

However, Peak to Peak was determined to win on their home field. They matched Middle Park’s first two runs with a couple of their own at the bottom of the first inning and added three more runs in the second inning.

The Panthers were finally able to respond in a big way at the top of the third inning. Becca Hugley did it by blasting a home run over the outfield fence.

Unfortunately, that was Middle Park’s final hurrah in Thursday’s game as the team’s bats then went silent. Meanwhile, Peak to Peak went on a scoring spree that racked 13 more runs and brought the game to an early end at the bottom of the fifth inning when the CHSAA’s 10-run rule was invoked.

“We had a good couple of innings, but then we couldn’t connect with our bats and our defense fell apart in the fourth and fifth innings,” Cheesman said.

A dominating win

After suffering through that defeat, the Panthers were definitely ready for a win. And they got it in their 21-5 victory over Arrupe Jesuit in Denver on Saturday.

“It was a good game where we could bring in all of our bench to get them some playing time,” Cheesman said.

Middle Park’s players got the game off to a roaring start by racking up an incredible 12 runs at the top of the first inning. Corrine Zimmerly began it on a walk, followed by stealing two bases. Hannah Davidson and Becca Hugley then loaded the bases on walks.

The first runs scored when Katie Mattfield singled to drive in Zimmerly and Davidson. Jillian Yaklich also singled, earning an RBI as Hugley ran across homeplate.

The scoring spree continued as Alex Gallegos singled to drive in Mattfield. Jamie Damon then loaded the bases on a walk. A single by Madlyn Clancy then drove in Yaklich. The bases were then reloaded as Zimmerly walked.

Davidson then stepped to the plate and blasted a single into the outfield that drove in both Gallegos and Damon. That was followed by another single from Hugley who earned a couple of RBIs as Clancy and Zimmerly sprinted to homeplate.

With two runners still on base, Mattfield came up to bat next and blasted a three-run homer, driving in both Davidson and Hugley.

After that batting blitz by the Panthers, Arrupe batters were only able to answer with a single run in the bottom of the first inning.

Returning to the batting box at the top of the second inning, Madlyn Clancy got Middle Park’s offense rolling by slamming the ball into the outfield for a double. She did not have to wait on base long because Zimmerly then batted another double that drove her into score.

The Panthers’ second inning push continued with Davidson joining Zimmerly on base with a walk. But before either could get bored on base, Hugley gave them the chance to run to homeplate by blasting a three-run homer over the outfield fence. It was Hugley’s eighth home run of the season and set a new Middle Park High School record.

Hugley’s homer was then followed by Mattfield and Gallegos who both singled. Damon earned a couple of RBIs after stepping to the plate and hitting the ball hard into the outfield to drive the two baserunners into score.

Arrupe attempted to respond, but only netted three runs at the bottom of the second.

In the third inning, the Panthers picked up only one run after the bases were loaded and the Arrupe pitcher walked another batter to drive in a run to score. Arrupe went scoreless at the bottom on that inning.

At the top of the fourth, Middle Park picked up two more runs. Madlyn Clancy scored on a single hit by Zimmerly and Camille Clancy sprinted home to score on a past ball.

At the bottom of the fourth, Arrupe generated only one run, forcing the game to end at that point when the CHSAA’s 10-run rule went into effect.

Middle Park tested three new pitchers in Saturday’s game. Hugley earned two strikeouts in the first inning, Kagen Boy made one in the second, and Katie Mattfield threw one during the third and fourth innings.

“It was a good season-ender for us,” Cheesman said. “We needed a good confidence-builder going into post-season play. Our bench also came in and had a good game.”

The Panther girls will be playing the regional play-in game this Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Aurora Sports Park. They will face Eaton with the game starting at noon.

“This is a must-win game for us,” Cheesman said. “If we win, we advance to the regionals on Friday. If we lose, we go home.”


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