Pirates extend softball winning streak

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Englewood spotted Elizabeth’s softball team three runs Sept. 24 before taking the lead for good as the Pirates won, 23-6.

“We are having a good season so far,” Englewood coach Dave Chapman said after the game. “We are 12-2 right now and that is great. But the preseason goal was to win the league title and that will hinge on the Sept. 26 game at Weld County. They beat us the second game of the season and we have to beat them by more than six runs in order to win the league title and an automatic berth in the post-season playoffs.”

After Weld Central, there are three more games before playoffs begin. The Pirates are at home Sept. 28 against Fort Lupton, travel to Denver North on Oct. 1 and play the final game of the regular season at home Oct. 3 against Arvada.

On Sept. 24, the Pirates gave up three runs on two hits in the top of the first inning to Elizabeth. But the Cardinals’ lead didn’t last long as Englewood sent 14 players to the plate in the bottom of the first to go ahead 10-3.

The Pirates continued to roll and were up 19-6 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Mariah Holman capped the offensive flurry as she hit a grand slam homer to make the final score 23-6.

“I have been hitting pretty well this season but that may the hardest I have hit a ball so far this season,” Holman said after the game. “It was a fastball right down the middle of the plate and I made solid contact. I knew when I hit it that I hit it hard and I knew the ball was going deep. I ran hard and it felt good to cross the plate. I have been waiting to hit one like that all season. It felt great and I am looking to do it again.”

She smiled and said it is a great season so far and she is playing on great team.

“I am having fun and it is a great senior season for me,” she said

A lot of players contributed to the win over Elizabeth. The Pirates collected 14 hits, 13 walks and stole three bases. Seven players drove in runs. Madison Ostrowski was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs for Englewood.

Englewood had to make some lineup changes earlier this season when starting catcher Maddie Smith suffered a shoulder injury and the coach asked Tori Harris to move into the position.

“I was kind of nervous because I found out the day before that I was going to catch and we were scheduled to play four games in a row,” Harris said. “I had done some catching two years ago but I had been in center field since then, so when the coach asked me to catch, I was a little rusty.”

She said the largest adjustment she had to make was in her throwing motion. She said, from center field, you have to extend your arm to make the long throw. But, she said, as the catcher, you just have to sort of flick the ball as quickly as you can.

“I am getting comfortable behind the plate now,” Harris said. “But I am still a little nervous when I have to make a throw to second base.”

She said her pitching has improved too. She started the season fifth in the lineup and, because she is getting on base so often, she now is the leadoff hitter.

“Overall this is a great season,” the sophomore said. “Everyone gets along and we are having a lot of fun playing softball.”

Chapman said it has been a fun season for Englewood softball.

“This team has good chemistry and they get along so they are a tight knit group of players,” the coach said. “We have been playing good defense from the start and it has helped us to win games that we are hitting better. The girls have learned to put down the bunt when it is needed and all the players have become smarter on the bases. This is a good team and now we just need to take that step and get to the playoffs.”

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