No. 2 Arvada West softball stays hot with win over No. 7 Columbine

LITTLETON — Arvada West’s softball team might be mistaken for a runaway freight train.

The Wildcats, No. 2 in the latest Class 5A softball rankings, grabbed their ninth straight victory Tuesday afternoon in impressive fashion. A-West used a 13-run top of the fifth inning to a 21-3 victory over No. 7 ranked Columbine.

“I think the kids were just really focused. They had a plan coming in today,” A-West coach Brenna Millikan said. “I think they wanted to get some more momentum going into these next two games. They knew this week is really important for us.”

A-West (14-3, 5-0 in 5A Jeffco) has outscored their conference opponents 66-7 in the Wildcats’ first five league games. The Wildcats face Pomona (11-5, 5-0) on the Panthers’ home field at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a game where the winner will be crowned the 5A Jeffco League champion.

A-West's Morgan Clausen, right, celebrates her 3-run double. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“I think it is cool that it’s Pomona and us going head-to-head,” A-West senior Shea Mauser said. “We have a lot of friends at Pomona. It’s a fun rivalry. Hopefully we can take it to them and put this many runs tomorrow.”

The Wildcats’ bats were on fire facing Columbine freshman pitcher Korbe Otis. A-West freshman Savannah Clausen got things going with a 3-run bloop double in the top of the first inning.

A 3-run double by senior Morgan Clausen in the top of the second inning extended the Wildcats’ lead to 6-0. Junior Christanna Angelopulos, who admitted she has been in a bit of a hitting slump, lined a shot over the left-field fence in the fourth inning for a home run and 8-0 lead.

The recent rain over the last 10 days might have actually contributed to A-West’s hitting prowess.

Columbine pitcher Korbe Otis fires to the plate against A-West. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“Everyday that it rains a lot of teams take off practice, but we are fortunate to have an indoor hitting facility at our school,” Mauser said. “Everyday we’ve been inside we’ve just been taking cuts and cuts. I think it’s really showing in games.”

The hitting work sure showed during the 13-run fifth inning. Mauser, Morgan Clausen and sophomore Shelby Robb all belted home runs in the fifth. A-West brought 17 batters to the plate in the inning.

“That is what’s been fun about this season,” Millikan said of the offensive balance throughout the line-up. “It doesn’t matter where in the line-up we are in. All of them hit the ball really well. They are all seeing the ball really well right now.”

Columbine did get on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. A couple of Wildcat fielding errors and a 2-run single by Ally Distler prevented Mauser from recording a shutout victory.

Despite being on such an impressive roll, A-West knows it must continue to get better as the state-qualifying regional tournaments approach.

“We need to be peaking at the end of the season,” Angelopulos said. “We need to continue to work hard.”

Columbine (12-6, 4-2) closes out its regular and conference schedule on the road against Ralston Valley on Thursday, Oct. 5. A-West concludes its regular season with its Senior Day at home against Dakota Ridge on Friday, Oct. 6.

A-West pitcher Shea Mauser recored her 9th victory of the season on the mound Tuesday. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)