GOLDEN — Golden’s softball team wasn’t quite ready to taste defeat for the first time this season Tuesday afternoon.
The Demons trailed 12-7 at home to start the bottom of the eighth inning and had five batters come to the plate with two outs in the final inning. Golden managed an incredible rally with a 6-run bottom of the eighth frame to top Elizabeth’s 5-run top of the eighth for a dramatic 13-12 victory for the Demons.
“You don’t see that often,” Golden coach Chad Herbers said of the win and extra inning frame that saw 11 runs scored. “These girls have been fighting. They just proved to me today that they don’t know any other way.”
It looked bleak for Golden to stretch its winning streak to eight games to start the season after senior Megan Feiner stuck out for the Demons’ second out in the eighth inning. Golden trailed 12-7 with runners at the corners, but down to its final out.
“I knew my team had my back,” Feiner said of striking out during her at-bat in the eighth inning. “I knew we would come back.”
Feiner was right. Makenzie Middleton, Rachel Fawcett, Madison Campbell and Jade Gomez-Chavarria all reached base and cut the Cardinals’ lead to 12-10. Golden sophomore Haley Prey delivered the game-winning hit with a hard single through the right side of the infield.
“I wanted to hit the ball on the ground and get those girls in,” Prey said. “I wanted to make solid contact and hit it far enough to get them home.”
Fawcett and pinch-runner Shayne Abrams scored to tie the game. A collision between Abrams and Elizabeth catcher Mayson Briddle at the plate caused the throw to home to get away from Briddle. Gomez-Chavarria was able to beat Briddle to home to score the winning run.
“Our team sticks together. It’s all or nothing,” Feiner said. “When we are down we know we are going to come back up.”
Elizabeth (4-4 record) had battled back itself from an early 5-0 deficit to take a 7-6 lead on the Demons (8-0) after a 2-run home run by Taylor Schleisman in the top of the sixth inning.
Feiner’s solo home run in the bottom of the sixth evened things up at 7-7 as the non-league game eventually went into extra innings.
Junior Cassidy Paulson picked up the complete-game victory in the circle for the Demons. Paulson pounded the strike zone and had a pair of 4-pitch innings. Five fielding errors by the Demons in the final four innings helped Elizabeth get back into the game.
“She (Paulson) does exactly what I want her to do,” Herbers said. “Our defense let her down a little bit. She has grown so much as a pitcher. She just keeps throwing strikes.”
The Demons head to the Barnes Softball Complex in Loveland for a two-day tournament Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 and 9. If Golden can keep its streak going that would be beneficial heading into Class 4A Jeffco League play.
It will be a tough challenge right off the bat in conference play for the Demons. Golden faces three-time defending 4A state champion Valor Christian (Sept. 19), followed up by perennial powerhouses D’Evelyn (Sept. 22) and Wheat Ridge (Sept. 23) to begin league play.
“It’s been a little mental and physical preparedness,” Feiner said of getting ready for conference play.” Our coach is constantly out here. We can get help before or after practice. We leave it all out on the field no matter who we are playing.”
Elizabeth jumps into its 4A Colorado Spring Metro League play 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, at Mitchell.