KUSA – This softball game was a battle; a battle that lasted up until the very end. And even though the game was pretty much neck-and-neck throughout all seven innings, it was the defending state champs who came out on top. In the very last play of the very last inning, the Wheat Ridge Farmers walked off the field to another softball semifinal.
No. 4 seed Wheat Ridge played against No. 5 seed Discovery Canyon Friday, Oct. 17 in the 2014 Class 4A state softball quarterfinals at Aurora Sports Park. And you better believe it was one heck of a game.
Going into the game, Discovery Canyon had just finished up an 11-2 first round victory over 12-seed Windsor; Wheat Ridge, a 1-0 win against 13-seed Air Academy with a solo homer by Analiese Apodaca in the bottom of the sixth inning.
But we’re talking about quarterfinals here.
Top of the first inning, Discovery Canyon jumped out on a 3-0 lead over Wheat Ridge. Sophomore Larissa Lum hit a line drive to right field to bring in two runs, and Junior Kailee Clark doubled to bring in another run. But the Farmers would answer back with a solo homer. Discovery Canyon led Wheat Ridge 3-1 going into the second inning.
Discovery Canyon didn’t score any runs in the second, but Wheat Ridge was able to tie it up at 3 going into the third. But in top of the third inning, Discovery Canyon’s Emily Selby hit a home run to bring the Thunder back on board 4-3.
And now it’s rally time.
After three innings, Wheat Ridge leaped back in the lead 5-4. After four innings, Wheat Ridge scored two more runs, pushing a 7-4 lead over Discovery Canyon. But in the sixth inning, Discovery Canyon scored two more runs, making it only a one-run game.
Top of the sixth, Discovery Canyon 6, Wheat Ridge 7. Now, THIS is where the magic begins to happen. I mean, really happen.
The bats came alive – literally. Lum hit another line drive, helping Discovery Canyon retake the lead over Wheat Ridge 8-7. And now – enter Emily Selby. She tripled, helping Discovery Canyon magically (told ya) erase a three-run deficit, and steal the lead back from Wheat Ridge: 9-7. Very, very clutch on Discovery Canyon’s end.
But wait, there’s more! It’s not over yet!
Bottom of the sixth, Wheat Ridge rallies and ties it up at 9. But a tie is all Wheat Ridge would get from the sixth inning. Going into the seventh, the score was tied at 9.
Discovery Canyon wasn’t able to get any runs in the seventh. Anything could happen at this point.
Now picture this: It’s the bottom of the last inning in the state quarterfinal game. The score is tied up 9-9. There’s a runner on first. Now a runner on second. No wait, there’s a runner on third! And then, Wheat Ridge sophomore Gabby Loya stepped up to the plate. Loya had all the pressure in the world on her, and the Farmers were jonesin’ to get back to state. Like I said, all the pressure in the world – and she hit a the game winning RBI walk off.
Final score: Wheat Ridge 10, Discovery Canyon 9.
Wheat Ridge is still in the running to defend its 4A state title, and plays No. 1 seed Frederick in the semifinals Saturday, Oct. 18 at 10 am. If Wheat Ridge wins the semifinal game, the Farmers advance to the championship game.