One question was answered in ThunderRidge High School's 5-2 girls softball victory over Mountain Vista High in an Aug. 30 game played in downtown Denver at Metropolitan State University. The teams …
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One question was answered in ThunderRidge High School's 5-2 girls softball victory over Mountain Vista High in an Aug. 30 game played in downtown Denver at Metropolitan State University.
The teams from Highlands Ranch each entered the game with a 3-0 record, but Mountain Vista has a resume of general athletic success.
ThunderRidge has been a state contender in football and basketball but not so much in softball, where there had been just four winning records in the past 11 seasons.
So is this year's team for real?
That's the question the win over crosstown rival Mountain Vista helped answer.
“Every single game, these girls keep proving to themselves that they can be good,” said ThunderRidge coach Kevin McAllister. “They battle, they fight, they never quit.
“This was a big game for them and for all of our alumni. They don't get to beat Vista very often. They are our next-door neighbors and we love playing them but we like beating them more. This win definitely proves we have a bunch of girls that play gritty. They never quit.”
ThunderRidge was ranked eighth in the Aug. 30 CHSAANow.com Class 5A state rankings heading into the Continental League opener for both schools.
“This team is for real,” said senior pitcher Kaitlin Oberle. “We have a group of girls that we have never had before.”
Junior Avelyn Edwards agreed.
“This team is definitely for real,” she said. “We have got so much closer and winning just makes us all closer and we all support each other.”
Edwards cracked a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning to help the Grizzlies grab a 3-0 lead which they stretched to 5-0 after three innings.
“It was exciting to get a good start and get us the lead in the beginning of the game and put it in their eyes like you should fear us,” said Edwards.
Senior Natalie Hughes had two of ThunderRidge's eight hits and Oberle pitched all seven innings for the Grizzlies. She scattered six hits and struck out nine batters.
Mountain Vista junior Sydney Butler went 3-for-3 and hit a solo home run in the seventh inning. She scored both of Vista's runs.
“We weren't quite ready to play from the get-go,” said Vista coach Bret Grammerstorf. “We made a few mistakes early that hurt us.
“It's early season so you don't want to overstate it but it's always important to play well against a crosstown rival. You certainly would like to be 1-0 in league instead of 0-1.”
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