AURORA | Cherokee Trail’s bats were hot early and Grandview’s came alive late Monday afternoon, which created a roller-coaster of a Centennial League softball matchup.
The visiting Cougars piled up five runs apiece in their first two at-bats — and 13 total in their first three — then managed just one more in the last four innings as the Wolves threatened to climb out of a double-digit hole to come all the way back.
In the end, Cherokee Trail’s hot start held up for a 14-10 victory over Grandview in the first of two league meetings between the two rivals. The rematch is scheduled for Sept. 28 and should be interesting in the wake of a first contest between the programs that saw a total of 22 hits (nine for extra bases) and a total of seven pitchers used.
Senior Addi Krei and junior Kylie Twilt had three hits apiece, senior Kiki Pryor reached base in all five of her plate appearances and scored three times and junior Icela Ciocarlan doubled in three runs among the plentiful highlights for coach Caley Mitchell’s Cougars, who recorded their fifth straight win to improve to 8-3.
Senior Kristin Gallego and junior Brooklyn Heil blasted home runs for coach Liz Carter’s Wolves (8-4), who played their eighth game in a six-day span (including five games over two days at the Dave Sanders Memorial tournament) and must turn right around to play at Legend Tuesday.
Miscues in the field combined with three hits helped Cherokee Trail plate five runs — all unearned — in the opening inning against Grandview senior starter Tessa Treesh, but the Cougars put together some good swings in the next two frames.
Ciocarlan’s double cleared the loaded bases to highlight the top of the second inning, while senior Jocelyn Steiner’s lined double to the center field fence in the third brought home two of the three runs for Cherokee Trail in the frame.
But that would be virtually it for the Cougars as junior Kamaya Soniea-Harris came on in relief for the Wolves and allowed just one run — an RBI single by Twilt to drive in sophomore Izzy Becker in the sixth inning — in the last four innings.
That gave Grandview’s offense a chance to get going against Cherokee Trail senior starter Cayman Lightner. That began with Gallego’s blast over the left field fence for her fifth home run of the season in the second inning.
Lightner — who recently returned to action after missing the opening portion of the season due to injury — struck out the side to end the inning, but she would exit during the Wolves’ three-run rally in the third inning.
Senior Ashley Miller drove in two runs with a single and senior Aubrey DeJong picked up an RBI by coaxing a bases loaded walk from freshman reliever Sydney Cobb. But Grandview’s rally ended when Cherokee Trail sophomore catcher Lily Buttshaw picked DeJong off first base.
The Wolves’ belief increased with a six-run fifth inning that included a two-run double by sophomore Madison Jaramillo, who scored one pitch later on Heil’s blast over the fence down the left field line. A double steal executed by sophomore Sasha Kennedy (who was 4-for-4) and Miller brought in another run and junior Maya Sprague fielders choice brought in Miller to make it 13-10 after five innings.
Freshman Emma Rice — Cherokee Trail’s fourth pitcher of the contest — finally shut the door.
The right-hander worked out of trouble in the sixth inning, including getting a big strikeout of the powerful Gallego and a ground out from DeJong with two runners aboard and she recorded all three outs in order in the seventh, capped by Steiner’s big catch of another drive down the left field line by Heil.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter/X: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
CHEROKEE TRAIL 14, GRANDVIEW 10
Score by innings:
Cher. Trail 553 001 0 — 14
Grandview 013 060 0 — 10
CHEROKEE TRAIL (ab-r-h-rbi)
Addi Krei cf 3-1-3-0, Kylie Twilt 2b 5-3-3-1, Kiki Pryor 1b 1-3-1-0, Kennedy Brian ss 5-3-1-1, Jocelyn Steiner lf 5-2-1-2, Lily Buttshaw c 5-0-1-2, Icela Ciocarlan dp 4-1-1-3, Julia Russell flex 1-0-0-0, Cayman Lightner p 2-0-1-1, Sydney Cobb p 1-0-0-0, Emma Rice 1-0-0-0, Izzy Becker rf 2-1-1-0, Tayah Burton ph 1-0-0-0. Totals 36-14-13-10. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Cayman Lightner (W, 2 1/3-5-4-4-1-3), Sydney Cobb (2-1-3-3-3-2), Sade Davis (1/3-2-3-3-1-0), Emma Rice (2 1/3-1-0-0-1-2)
Sasha Kennedy ss 4-2-4-0, Peytann Weiland c 3-1-0-0, Ashley Miller 2b 2-1-1-1, Kristin Gallego 3b 2-2-1-1, Aubrey DeJong dp 2-0-0-1, Maya Sprague rf 4-1-0-1, Madison Jaramillo 1b 4-1-1-2, Brooklyn Heil cf 4-2-2-2, Maddie Heinrich lf 3-0-0-0. Totals 28-10-9-8. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Tessa Treesh (L, 1-4-5-0-1-0), Leah Graves (2-5-8-3-3-1), Kamaya Soniea-Harris (4-5-1-1-1-4).
2B — Cherokee Trail: Kennedy Brian, Cayman Lightner, Jocelyn Steiner. Grandview: Brooklyn Heil, Madison Jaramillo, Sasha Kennedy. 3B — Cherokee Trail: Addi Krei. HR — Grandview: Kristin Gallego (solo in 2nd inning), Heil (1 on in 5th inning).