AURORA — Through a dominating 27-2 record in the 2018 season, Holy Family capped a special season with a Class 4A state title behind the right-hand of senior pitcher Erin Caviness and timely hitting.
Up against reigning champ and regular contender Mountain View (20-7-2), the Lady Tigers ran away with a 10-3 victory.
Offensively, Holy Family had its frustrations early on, particularly in the first inning after loading the bases with one-out and not plating a run. The following frame, similar fits with an inning-ending double play on a line drive at the pitcher ended the scare for MV.
However, Holy Family broke through in the third after the leadoff homer by junior Anna Martinez. The flood gates then opened in the frame after seniors Sara Rode (error), Erin Winters (single) and Caviness (walk) loaded the bases with nobody out.
Sophomore Tyler Whitlock corked a sacrifice fly to right field to bring in the second run before Caviness’ heads-up base running scored on a wild pitch to expand the lead to three.
Retiring six of the first seven batters faced, Caviness looked to be in control, but the Lady Mountain Lions then pounced.
Senior Jaelyn Taylor began things with a leadoff shot to right-center field. Three batters later following a one-out walk, sophomore Bailey Carlson helped herself with a mammoth two-run home run to left to tie things at three. The two home runs were two of the three hits that Caviness allowed all day.
“I know they all have my back,” Caviness said. It’s cool to know I could not strike everyone out, and they would still have my back.”
Did they ever.
Holy Family didn’t waste any time, getting their senior hurler back the lead with a five-run outburst to put the Lady Tigers back ahead. A two-run single by Martinez, a two-run double by Caviness and an RBI-single by Whitlock outlined the scoring.
“This team never lets up,” Martinez said. “Even if someone hits a home run or something goes in the other direction for the team, we still keep each other up and keep each other going. No matter what, I know my teammates are behind me.”
Eight runs were more than enough for Caviness, but two more crossed home in the sixth after the two-out, two-run RBI triple by Whitlock. Caviness concluded her spectacular complete game with seven innings thrown with eight strikeouts and three walks. Other than the fourth inning, she was in full control.
“The mental approach she has had this year as a senior has been amazing,” Holy Family coach Mitch Martinez said. “Nothing fazes her and even though it sounds redundant but you just do what you do, and that’s what she has done all year long.”
In their fifth year in 4A, Holy Family has escalated to the top quickly, and with the talent and coaching present, expect to see this program in the spotlight routinely.
“We have been here for five years, and we just kept working,” Martinez said. "These seniors have been with us and have worked and led and that’s why we are here. We don’t get ahead of ourselves. We stay focused on every inning, try to keep pressure on people, and put the ball in play. We want to make the other team make plays, and the formula worked for this group. Put the ball in play, good things happen.”