Big inning lifts Golden over rival Wheat Ridge

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 9/25/18

WHEAT RIDGE — Golden senior Cassidy Paulson doesn’t fear facing softball rival Wheat Ridge. It was a scary start for the Demons’ four-year varsity pitcher against the Farmers. Paulson pitched …

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Big inning lifts Golden over rival Wheat Ridge

Posted

WHEAT RIDGE — Golden senior Cassidy Paulson doesn’t fear facing softball rival Wheat Ridge.

It was a scary start for the Demons’ four-year varsity pitcher against the Farmers. Paulson pitched against Wheat Ridge in a Class 4A Jeffco League game as a freshman back in 2015. Paulson pitched 1.1 innings giving up 10 runs on 10 hits while getting hammered for four home runs.

“My freshman year I got skyrocketed,” Paulson admitted talking about her outing as a freshman against the Farmers. “Those girls smacked it over the fence on me like nobody’s business.”

A lot has changed since the Farmers’ handed Paulson a 19-2 loss three years ago. On Tuesday, Golden managed to make it back-to-back conference victories in back-to-back seasons at Pennington Softball Field in Wheat Ridge.

The Demons defeated the Farmers 13-3 last season to break a longtime losing streak against Wheat Ridge.

“Last year was very emotional,” Paulson said after the 5-2 victory Sept. 18 over Wheat Ridge. “To do it two years in a row is very special.”

Paulson was key on the hill and at the plate Tuesday.

After giving up two runs on six hits as the Farmers (12-5, 2-2 in league) took an early 2-0 lead, the veteran pitcher settled in. Paulson retired 10 straight Wheat Ridge batters, gave up just one hit over the final five innings and didn’t allow a Farmer past first base after the second inning.

“At the end of the day she (Paulson) relaxed and got comfortable with her defense, trusting them,” Golden coach Chad Herbers said. “She shoved it in there and let the defense make the plays.”

Paulson had just three strikeouts, but recorded two Ks in the final inning to close out the victory.

“I think we really saw what (Wheat Ridge batters’) strengths and weaknesses were,” Golden catcher Marla Goodspeed said. “That really helped with pitch calling.”

Golden’ offense needed just one big inning and that came in the top of the fourth inning. Paulson, Makenzie Middleton and Goodspeed started the 4-run fourth with three straight singles. Goodspeed and Haley Prey both had RBI singles to tie the game at 2-2.

“Up and down the line-up they did their job,” Hebers said. “The top half set the table to allow the bottom half to drive them in today. That is what we had to have. It was amazing.”

Seven-hole hitter Katherine Dunson delivered with a go-ahead single to left field that dropped and eventually scored a pair of runs to put the Demons (11-6, 4-0) up 4-2.

Paulson helped herself out adding an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI single to drive in Makayla Middleton, who had doubled with two outs.

“I was really focused on getting the baserunners over,” Paulson said of her three consecutive singles after striking out her first at-bat. “I wasn’t going to hit if over the fence. I just wanted to move the baserunners.”

The victory was the sixth straight for the Demons. They outscored their opponents 46-3 during six-game winning streak.

“We started out with a lot of losses,” Paulson said. “We worked really hard because we didn’t want to lose anymore.”

While getting out to a 4-0 start in conference play is nice, Herbers knows the road is still long and treacherous.

“We know Wheat Ridge is still going to be battling for the top of the league,” Herbers said. “We are in the driver’s seat for league if we take care of business. There are teams out there that we can’t go to sleep on.”

Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco

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