They celebrated like they won the World Series, a dog pile in front of their dugout complete gloves tossed in the air and hugs on the ground.
It’s understandable give what Fort Collins High School’s softball team had just done. The Lambkins erased a 10-run deficit and came back Thursday to beat city rival and visiting Rocky Mountain 17-14.
“I think this was the craziest game I’ve ever been in,” Collins senior Blair Norris said. “I’ve been in a lot of crazy game, but this was overwhelming.”
The craziness began after the Lobos posted an eight-run fourth inning that gave them a 14-4 lead and left them just three outs away from winning the game by the 10-run rule.
Collins’ first four batters reached safely in the bottom half of the inning, the first scoring to ensure the game would continue. By the time that half inning ended, the Lambkins had posted seven runs to get within 14-11. They did so on only two hits and were helped by three Rocky errors and three walks.
Collins added two runs in the fourth on a two-run home run by Norris and completed the comeback in its half of the sixth inning.
The Lambkins loaded the bases for senior Maddie Guddenkauf, who hit a comeback to Rocky pitcher Kaela Blumenshine. Her throw to the plate was wide, allowing Seale to score the tying run and Jessica Hargadine to come around from second for the go-ahead run.
Collins tacked on two more runs and got through the top of the seventh inning without incident after a leadoff walk. Norris picked up the win in relief, allowing only two hits over her final three innings.
“I’m sure I’ve seen a crazier game, but after 20 years you forget about them and remember this one,” Collins coach Keith Aragon said. “Our girls showed a lot of resiliency. Blair hadn’t pitched in a while, but we just asked her to keep us in the game and she did. And I think her home run sparked us.”
As exhilarating as it was for Collins, it was equally disappointing for the Lobos. They had dominated the first four innings, especially on offense. Kiara Loucks and Sydney Rios hit home runs and Rocky had 12 hits.
Making it tougher is it might have ended the chance for a spot in the postseason for the Lobos (8-11, 5-6). Only the top four teams from the Front Range League automatically earn a spot. Others can earn at-large berths and Rocky coach Mike Crockett figured his team needed this win.
“We kind of hit our peak in the big inning we had in the fourth and kind of slowed down,” Crockett said. “Collins kept pushing and kept pushing and did a nice job. I just think we lost a little spunk at the end there and it hurt. It hurts to lose this game.”
The game featured 31 runs, 24 hits and nine errors. The five pitchers also combined to walk 15 batters in a game that lasted nearly 2 ½ hours.
Guddenkauf finished with three hits for Collins, while Norris drove in four runs. Rios and Simchah Baker each had four hits for the Lobos. Baker drove in three runs, while Loucks and Madison Nigro each had a pair of RBIs.
Collins (11-7, 5-5) wraps up the regular season today at home against Boulder. A win could potentially earn them at at-large spot in the postseason.