No. 2 Golden softball clinches second consecutive 4A Jeffco League title

WESTMINSTER — Golden senior Makenzie Middleton’s second home run Tuesday afternoon had a symbolic sound to it.

Makenzie’s 2-run blast banged off the scoreboard beyond the fence in right-center field to give the Demons a 16-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Golden has definitely made plenty of noise during the regular season on its way to a second straight Class 4A Jeffco League title.

“The approach the girls have taken this year is remarkable,” Golden coach Chad Herbers said after the 17-0 victory in four innings against Standley Lake. “It is truly one game at a time. They truly didn’t know what had just happened with this win (clinching the league title) until I told them. They have been very focused.”

The Demons (21-1, 8-1 in league) — No. 2 in the 4A rankings for the past three weeks — had a chance to celebrate with the 4A Jeffco League title plague after their third straight shutout victory.

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Golden senior Emma Graham tossed her third straight shutout. Graham gave up three hits and worked out of a jam in the bottom of the fourth inning to keep the Gators (10-11, 1-8) off the scoreboard.

“We have offense and defense right now,” Golden senior Makayla Middleton said. “If you can have both you’re good.”

The Middleton identical twins have been ready to go from the first pitch this fall. Makenzie’s pair of home runs Tuesday put her dinger total at 14 on the season. She has a team-high 52 RBIs and is batting .651.

Makayla’s grand slam home run in the Demons’ 8-run second inning put her home run total at 11. She is batting just a tick below .700 on the season — .699 — and leads the team with 58 hits.

It hasn’t been just the twins with crazy offensive numbers. Junior Marla Godspeed is batting .554 with 40 RBIs. Senior Haley Prey is hitting .412 with 19 RBIs. Senior Molly Hord has scored 33 run from the two-hole.

“This is our year I think,” Makayla said. “We were expecting this. Now it is time to go to the postseason. I’m ready to go out there and keep working hard.”

Golden hosts a 4A regional tournament Saturday, Oct, 19, but still has one more league game. The Demons has their home finale against D’Evelyn at 4:30 pm Wednesday, Oct. 9.

The Demons squeezed out a 2-0 win on the Jaguars’ home field last week in their first meeting. Herbers likes to have a great challenge against D’Evelyn to help prepare for regionals, but didn’t mind sewing up the league title before facing the Jaguars.

“It is really nice,” Herbers said. “It takes a little pressure off. Now we can step forward and start looking how we approach the next part of our season.”

Golden was the No. 4 seed last year for regionals. Back-to-back wins over Widefield and Pueblo West punched the Demons’ ticket to the state tournament. While the path will be similar, Golden isn’t planning on easing into the postseason.

“We’ve put so much effort into this. To come this far is something we’ve looked forward to,” Makenzie said. “We can’t stop working hard now. Our mentality is, ‘Don’t stop now.’ We can’t take a break.”

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)