GOLDEN — After a bit of a stumble following a 7-game winning streak to start the season, Arvada West’s softball team got a much-needed victory Tuesday afternoon. “I’m proud of us after just …
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GOLDEN — After a bit of a stumble following a 7-game winning streak to start the season, Arvada West’s softball team got a much-needed victory Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m proud of us after just one day of practice — after things not going well Saturday — they took the corrections we made yesterday and put it into effect today,” A-West coach Brenna Millikan said. “They flushed Saturday, but still took something from it to use to our advantage here today at Golden.”
The Wildcats dropped just out of the CHSAANow.com Class 5A rankings this week after suffering back-to-back losses Aug. 28 against Windsor and Columbine to end the Erie/Broomfield Tournament last Saturday. Giving up a 4-run lead in the seventh inning to rival Columbine gave the Wildcats a sour taste to end last week.
A-West got back in the win column with an 11-1 victory in six innings against Golden on Tuesday.
“We went to practice yesterday and worked on the little things,” A-West senior catcher Vivienne Schack said. “Like keeping our tempo, working our momentum and not letting the other team get carried away.”
The Wildcats’ hitting stayed hot cranking out 17 hits over six innings. A-West (8-2 record) scored double-digit runs for the seventh time this season.
“That is what we have really done well in our wins,” Millikan said of putting the ball into play. “Pass the bat onto the next kid and score as many runs as we can.”
Schack, along with fellow senior Hunter Huddle and sophomore Mac Ferguson had three hits each for the Wildcats. Junior Kendall Mulvaney drove in the first run with a groundout that scored junior Peyton Raley from third base.
A-West scored a trio of runs in the third and fifth innings. Schack had a 2-run double in the fifth inning to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 7-1.
“We had team at-bats today,” Schack said. “We weren’t going for the long shot or over the fence. We wanted to get the bat on the ball and move the runners around. The little things really do matter.”
The Wildcats had six hits in the top of the sixth inning to grab a 11-1 lead. Schack drove in her third run of the game with a bloop single that scored what would be the final run of the game in a 4-run sixth inning.
Ferguson finished off the complete-game victory on the mound for the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth inning. Despite a lead-off walk in the bottom of the sixth, the sophomore worked out of the jam allowing her defense to do the work. Sophomore Kelsie “Mo” Johnson made a diving catch on a line drive for the final out.
“I think I wasn’t trusting myself all the way,” Ferguson said of her pervious few outing in the circle. “This game was different because I put a lot of trust in my team. They got outs for me.”
The lone run Golden scored was a solo home run by senior Caitlyn Stevens to start the bottom of the fourth inning. The Demons did have some score chances, but stranded eight runners.
“Mac’s growth and maturity this season as a sophomore is what I’m most proud of her,” Millikan said. “She has come so far in her mental game. She goes out there with a plan and a focus. Her composure on the mound is keeping our defense composed as well.”
Golden (2-6) hits the road Thursday, Sept. 2, to face another 5A Jeffco team in Lakewood.
A-West is at Chaparral on Wednesday before returning home to host No. 8 Cherokee Trail on Friday. The losses over the weekend might have dropped the Wildcats out of the rankings, but that is something A-West isn’t worried about.
“Honestly, as a senior stats and rankings don’t matter to me,” Schack said. “I think the heart and the integrity of a team matters more.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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