AURORA | So many chances had been missed by both teams Monday, but Jenny Allen wasn’t about to let another get away.
The Grandview senior infielder faced a two-strike count with the bases loaded in a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning against Mullen and drove a pitch up the middle to give the Wolves a dramatic 2-1 Centennial League victory over the visiting Mustangs.
Grandview stranded 13 runners on base in the game, but two came home in the final inning after Mullen (0-2) had scratched across its only run against Grandview sophomore pitcher Makayla Valle — who struck out 12 hitters on the day — and gave Liz Carter her first win as head coach of the Wolves (1-2).
“Coming up in that situation, I was just really excited to help out my team,” said Allen, who went 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot. “I knew my job and what I had to do. I was a little nervous, but I knew I just had to get it in play anywhere and score that last run.”
Valle allowed only three hits on the day, but the last one almost came back to haunt her when Avery Panozzo doubled with one out in the top the eighth, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a high pitch that made it to the backstop to break a scoreless deadlock.
Before that, Valle — who surpassed her previous career high in strikeouts of 11 set last season against Silver Creek — did a good job. She struck out Lucia Hurtado with a runner on third to end the Mustangs’ eighth-inning threat.
“That was probably my best games as far as strikeouts and trusting my spin,” Valle said. “I felt very confident. …I heard my coaches and the girls in the dugout and I was making eye contact with my third baseman and middle infield. It really kept me going.”
The winning really in the bottom half of the eighth inning for Grandview started with a single by sophomore Miranda Ferrier. Freshman Peytann Weiland reached after faking a bunt and slugging a ball into the vacated shortstop hole and freshman Chloe Miller loaded the bases with a bunt single.
An error on a throw home by Mullen pitcher Morgan Margeson allowed Ferrier to score the tying run before Allen fouled off two pitchers before she brought home Weiland with her winning hit up the middle.
“It felt really good, I’m glad our team came together at the end,” Allen said.
Grandview returns to play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Eaglecrest (1-2).
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
GRANDVIEW 2, MULLEN 1 (8 inn.)
Score by innings (r-h-e):
Mullen 000 000 01 — 1 3 3
Grandview 000 000 02 — 2 8 2
Avery Panozzo c 3-0-2-0, Bella Aragon cr 0-1-0-0, Avery Walters lf 2-0-0-0, Maggie Bertsch 3b 2-0-0-0, Lucia Hurtado 1b 4-0-1-0, Elizabeth Brady 2b 3-0-0-0, Ona Medina ss 3-0-0-0, Madelyn Bertsch cf 3-0-0-0, Morgan Margeson p 3-0-0-0, Joliana Encinias rf 2-0-0-0, Romie Gutierrez ph 1-0-0-0. Totals 26-1-3-0.
Jenny Allen 2b 4-0-2-1, Liz Herting 1b 3-0-0-0, Makayla Valle p 3-0-0-0, Erika Robinson ss 3-0-1-0, Alyssa Walker 3b 4-0-0-0, Miranda Ferrier 4-1-1-0, Peytann Weiland 4-1-3-0, Emma Brooks 3-0-1-0, Chloe Miller ph 1-0-1-0, Mallory Castonguay cf 4-0-0-0. Totals 32-2-8-1.
WP — Grandview: Makayla Valle. LP — Mullen: Morgan Margeson.
2B — Mullen: Avery Panozzo 2.