Chaparral softball team bounces back
Coming off two disappointing losses, Chaparral's softball team responded with a winning effort against one of the Continental League's best pitchers.
Chaparral surrendered a run in the bottom of the seventh and lost 6-5 to Heritage Sept. 16. Rock Canyon scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to beat the Wolverines 3-2 on Sept. 17.
Facing Castle View's ace right-hander Savannah Heebner on Sept. 18 in a home game, Chaparral collected 13 hits and used a good pitching performance from sophomore Emilie Smillie to notch a 10-2 league win over the Sabercats.
“We finally got some execution with runners on base,” said Chaparral coach Alan DiGiosio. “We lacked that against Heritage and Rock Canyon. If we would have hit the ball like we did against Castle View, we could have been 3-0 in the first three league games. We hit against some pretty good pitching.”
Heebner, who struck out 11 and allowed three hits in a 6-0 win over Highlands Ranch Sept. 16 and fanned 13 batters in a 3-1 win over ThunderRidge Sept. 17, wasn't sharp in her third outing in three days.
Chaparral got eight hits in three innings of work by Heebner, who gave up nine runs. Only four of those runs were earned as Castle View made four errors and had a two-base passed ball as the Wolverines took a 9-0 lead into the fourth inning.
“That was a terrible game all the way around,” said Castle View coach Caley Tabola Mitchell. “We're a much better team than that. We had too many errors and could not adjust to slower pitching. Not much good happened. Chaparral made plays and hit the ball.”
Smillie allowed six hits, one earned run and struck out three batters. She prevented Castle View from taking an early lead with strikeouts in the top of the first to end the inning with runners on second and third base.
“Emilie Smillie did real well,” said DiGiosio. “She is our No. 2 pitcher. We rested our No. 1 pitcher. Larissa Fornwalk is our main pitcher but we didn't play her. We gave her a break.
“Playing with the lead is always nice. Playing with some room is good, so if you give up a couple runs you are still in the game.”
Smillie also contributed offensively with three hits and two runs batted in. Jennifer Calascione had two hits including a two-run homer. Bailey Taylor and Emily Moore also each drove in two runs.
“Against the good teams, we haven't played well enough to win,” admitted DiGiosio. “We've been in games, we just haven't done enough to win. Against Castle View, we did a lot of things right and a lot of things we hadn't done in the past and we came out on top.”
Chaparral improved its league record to 2-3 and itsoverall mark to 6-8 with a 9-7 victory over Mountain Vista Sept. 20. Madeline LaPolla went 3-for-4 as the Wolverines collected 15 hits and scored seven runs in the fourth inning.
Castle View (3-2 and 8-5) lost its second consecutive league game Sept. 20 in a 1-0, eight-inning setback to Legend. Heebner and the Titans Janelle Gardner hooked up in a pitching duel with each hurler allowing just three hits.