It took a game longer that planned, but Fossil Ridge High School’s softball team got the bid to state it so badly wanted.
The SaberCats beat Pomona 15-0 in four innings to finish as runners-up Saturday at the Region 7 tournament at Triple Crown Sports Complex.
That dominating victory came after Fossil Ridge lost 5-3 to Douglas County, which won the regional championship and the region’s top spot at state.
“The way they’ve played all year is the way they played in that last game (against Pomona),” SaberCats second-year coach David Philop said. “They played with a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm and had fun.
“For some reason, that second game (Douglas County) they were uptight and wanted to win so badly. I think they tried too hard and pressed a little.”
With a state trip on the line once again, Fossil Ridge had no trouble against Pomona. The No. 7 overall seed SaberCats (19-3) scored three runs apiece in the first two innings, four in the third and five in the fourth to end the game early because of the mercy rule.
Berkley Calapp hit her third home run of the day in the third inning against Pomona, a three-run shot that gave Fossil Ridge a 10-0 lead.
Haleigh Waterland also homered in the inning and finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Brittany Younan had three singles and an RBI, while Haley Donaldson and Emily Burns each had a pair of hits and an RBI.
“It was awesome to fight back from the other game and come out and do what (we) did this game,” Calapp said. “We were all really mad and frustrated and feel like we definitely should have won.”
This is the second consecutive trip to state for the SaberCats, who lost 5-4 to Dakota Ridge in last season’s first round at state.
Fossil Ridge opened the Region 7 tournament on Saturday with a 14-3 win over Chaparral before the disappointing loss to 10th-seeded Douglas County.
Calapp went 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs against Chaparral, while Donaldson had a pair of hits, including a homer, run and drove in four runs. Jenna Jordan added three hits, including a triple.
“This is pretty neat, and you do it for the kids,” Philop said. “When you go to state two years in a row, it sets the foundation for the future that they can have that mindset and a shot to go every year.”
Fossil Ridge wasn’t without its chances in the loss to the Huskies. Trailing 4-3 in the sixth, Jordan led off with a triple but the SaberCats couldn’t push across a run. They also loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh.
As tough as it was to lose for just the third time this season, it served as motivation for SaberCats against an overmatched Pomona team.
“It hurt, but it was good for us,” said Jordan, a junior catcher and transfer from Fort Collins High who homered in the loss. “It’s a lesson to be learned, but a true team comes together after a loss. It keeps your eye focused on the prize after a loss like that.”
The Class 5A state championships are Friday and Saturday at Aurora Sports Complex.
Follow reporter JeffBersch at twitter.com/Coloradoan_JB.