AURORA — It was all about timing for Grandview in the Class 5A state softball championship game Saturday afternoon at Aurora Sports Park.
The No. 6 seeded Wolves (19-6) cranked out three hits while utilizing three walks and three fielding errors by top-seeded Fossil Ridge (22-2) to score six runs in the top of the third inning. The six-run inning was all Grandview needed offensively to take a 6-2 victory to win the school’s first state softball trophy.
“It the best feeling in the world,” said Grandview senior Emily Supercynski, who had an RBI single and scored on one of the three errors in the game-deciding third inning. “I can’t even explain it.”
Grandview sent 12 players to the plate in the third. Junior Jordyn McDaniel started the scoring with a two-run single. Supercynski and senior Ande Troutman followed up with RBI to take the Wolves from a 1-0 deficit to a 6-1 lead.
“I saw (Fossil Ridge) making some mistakes and getting frustrated,” said Grandview coach Dave Thies, who is in his third year guiding the Wolves’ program. “When they called a couple of timeouts we got our girls together and told them to keep the pressure on. We wanted to force them to make more mistakes.”
It was the third straight state appearance for Grandview, but the first time it has advance past the state quarterfinals.
“I think this year we felt more confident,” Supercynski said. “We were ready for it. There were no nerves, just a lot of excitement.”
Grandview junior Courtney Browne picked up the victory in the pitching circle for the Wolves. She struck out three and gave up six hits in the complete-game win.
The Wolves defense committed three errors, but once Grandview grabbed the lead the defense buckled down.
“I was extremely happy that my teammates were backing me up at the plate. I knew they had my back and were picking me up,” said Browne, a three-year starter for Grandview. “I had 100 percent confidence in everyone behind me. It’s probably the best team I’ve ever played with. It’s the best group of girls ever.”
Fossil Ridge scored a run in the first and third. The SaberCats ended up stranding seven and were retired in order in the bottom of the seventh inning to snap their 18-game winning streak.
Thies admitted he was “surprised” his squad was in the position to win the school’s first state softball title.
“It’s very, very difficult to win. It takes a lot of hard work and the ball to roll your way basically,” Thies said. “It was going to come down to the team that played the best in the end and made the fewest mistakes and hit the ball.”
Thies was an assistant coach at Wheat Ridge for five years. The Farmers won four 4A state championship during that period. Thies credited that experience in helping him guide his team this weekend.
“I worked with Marty Stricklett (Farmers coach) from Wheat Ridge and he was the best teacher I could have. He was a great teacher,” Thies said.
Grandview’s state semifinal Saturday morning was much tighter than the championship game. The Wolves took a 3-2 victory over Broomfield in a 10-inning affair.
Fossil Ridge advanced to the title game with a 2-1 victory in extra innings as well. The SaberCats from Fort Collins took a 1-0 lead going into the seventh inning, but No. 4 Castle View from Castle Rock rallied to plate a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.
Senior Murphy McRoberts drove in the game-winning run for Fossil Ridge in the bottom of the eighth inning with an infield ground out. McRoberts also picked up the win in the pitcher circle striking out 14 Sabercats.
Castle View senior pitcher Savannah Heebner, who will play at the University of Houston next year, took the loss despite striking out 14.