ARVADA — Hitting was contagious Tuesday afternoon at Arvada West High School. A-West and Golden softball teams combined for 29 hits to score 22 runs in the non-league game between the Class 5A …
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ARVADA — Hitting was contagious Tuesday afternoon at Arvada West High School.
A-West and Golden softball teams combined for 29 hits to score 22 runs in the non-league game between the Class 5A Jeffco and 4A Jeffco squads. When the dust settled, the Wildcats came away with a 15-7 victory in A-West’s home opener.
“We started off maybe a little slow, but once the girls settled in and were a little more selective with the pitches they were attacking they were able to string things together,” A-West coach Brenna Millikan said. “The top part of our line-up kind of sets the tone, but when we are successful its when that bottom half is really coming through.”
Golden (2-5 record) actually held a 5-4 lead through two innings. Senior Cassidy Paulson had an RBI single and Golden’s twin sisters Makayla and Makenzie Middleton highlighted a 4-run top of the second inning for the Demons with an RBI single by Makayla and a 2-run triple by Makenzie off A-West starting junior pitcher Isabelle Schwien.
The Demons extended their lead to 7-4 with Katherine Dunson and Kaela Fajardo scoring in the top of the third inning, but it was all A-West from there on out. The Wildcats (6-2) scored 11 unanswered runs, all coming in the bottom of the third and fourth innings.
“Our start of the line-up got us going and the bottom half fed off of that,” said A-West senior Christaana Angelopulos, who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. “Once we get one through nine hitting we are unstoppable. Everyone just needs to contribute. We’ll be good.”
The seven, eight and nine A-West batters — Jadyn Sabell, Taylor Kahl and Alexis Folks — combined to go 7-for-10 with seven runs scored. The Wildcats put the icing on their offensive outburst with junior Shelby Robb racing around the bases after a fly ball to right field was mishandled to score the final three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
A-West sophomore Savannah Clausen relieved Schwien to start the top of the fourth inning and was able to squelch the hot Demon bats. Clausen was able to scatter five hits in pitching four scoreless innings.
“Savannah went out there and kind of kept them off-balance, got us more ground ball outs,” Millikan said. “She has done a really good job for us and when she goes out there with a lot of energy the team feels that.”
The sophomore said her strong outing was a big confident boost. Clausen was tagged with the loss in her last outing when the Wildcats lost 13-8 to Prairie View on Aug. 24.
“I wasn’t nervous,” Clausen said coming into the game to start the fourth inning with the Wildcats holding a 9-7 lead. “I knew our team would get it together and shut them down.”
The Wildcats play just two games in the Eric Tournament of Championships coming up this weekend. However, A-West will get two hard tests against Loveland (6-0) and Broken Arrow (10-2) from Oklahoma.
Golden has a bit of a break before playing in the Berthoud Tournament coming up the following weekend.
“It’s a rough schedule and it doesn’t let up,” Golden coach Chad Herbers said. “We’ve seen some really good pitchers this entire non-league and today was no different. Today we made some good adjustments on the offensive side.”
While Herbers like what he saw from the plate with his Demons, he knows his team needs to figure things out to reach their high expectations.
“We’ve just got to tie both sides (offense and defense) together,” Herbers said. “If we have any aspirations of going not only to the postseason —but deep into the postseason — we’ve got to play these teams, mentally adjust and get through it.”
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