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4A No. 9 Golden softball goes deep to defeat No. 8 Wheat Ridge

GOLDEN — It was one step closer to a Class 4A Jeffco League softball title Saturday morning for the Golden Demons.

Golden (14-6 record, 7-0 in league) not only won its 11th straight game, but stayed undefeated in conference play with the season-series sweep of rival Wheat Ridge.

Golden softball coach Chad Herbers, left, is fired up as senior Elena Goodspeed makes it to third base with an RBI triple Saturday. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“It’s pretty amazing. I feel like every day we come prepared,” Golden junior Makenzie Middleton said of the Demons that started the season with a 3-6 record. “The first of the season was tough, but I think we have it all figured out now.”

Golden, No. 9 in the current CHSAANow.com 4A softball rankings, hit a trio of home runs on its way to a 11-5 victory over No. 8 Wheat Ridge (12-8, 2-5) on Saturday.

After Wheat Ridge jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead with a 3-run home run by freshman Aaliyah Arellano in the top of the first inning, it was all Demons. Golden scored in every inning while piling up 16 hits and a trio of home runs.

Senior Katherine Dunson started out the long-ball barrage for Golden with a deep solo home run to center in the bottom of the third inning. The blast extended the Demons’ lead to 7-3.

“I wish I could have hit a home run at their field, but doing it here felt even better,” said Dunson, who went 2-for-3 from the plate with two runs scored. “It’s just a great feeling to contribute to this win.”

Golden senior pitcher Cassidy Paulson helped herself out with a solo blast to start off the bottom of the fourth inning. After giving up three hits on the mound in the first inning, Paulson was nearly perfect from the second through the sixth inning. She gave up just one hit over the middle five innings.

Golden senior Cassidy Paulson rounds the bases after a solo home run Saturday against Wheat Ridge. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“She (Paulson) will give up her hits, but she ultimately settles down and trusts her defense behind her,” Golden coach Chad Herbers said. “It all starts with her in the circle. She had an amazing game.”

Wheat Ridge did get a 2-run home run by sophomore Jalesa Lujan in the top of the seventh inning to stop the 11 unanswered runs by the Demons.

Makenzie Middleton finished off Golden’s home run party with a solo home run in the fifth inning to give the Demons double-digit runs for the fourth straight game. Makenzie was a triple short of hitting for the cycle, while her twin sister Makayla Middleton went 3-for-5 from the plate with a triple.

“Any home run is a great home run. Home runs lift the energy up, but with this team we’ll get just as much energy from Molly Hord’s swinging bunt with the bases loaded,” Herbers said referring to Hord’s RBI hit in the fourth inning. “I can’t be prouder with what they are doing right now.”

Golden knows it can’t relax heading into the final week of conference play. The Demons host Evergreen (10-10, 6-1) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2. The game will likely decide the conference champion.

“We are after one game, the next one,” Herbers said about the Demons being three conference wins away from completing a league sweep. “Now we have to reset and play Evergreen. They are going to be tough.”

Golden took a 9-4 victory the first time around on the Cougars’ home field Sept. 20.

“It helps that its at home,” Makenzie Middleton said of the Evergreen game Tuesday. “That really bring the energy and people at the school helps us out. It will be a good game.”

Wheat Ridge freshman Aaliyah Arellano (9) is greeted at home plate by teammates after her 3-run home run to give the Farmers an early lead over Golden on Saturday. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)