AURORA | The seniors on the Regis Jesuit softball team know the feeling of playing in the state softball tournament and they desperately want to do it again, especially in their coronavirus-shortened final season.
Four seniors were honored Friday at the Raiders’ Senior Game — though two others were unable to attend because they were in quarantine — and while their hopes of qualifying for the Class 5A state tournament took a bit of a hit with an 8-3 Continental League loss to visiting Legend, there was still optimism for coach Merideth Feik’s team.
Regis Jesuit’s loss, just its second in its past nine games, didn’t hurt much in terms of its place in the 5A RPI standings — part of the formula used to determine the 16-team state playoff field — thanks to the Titans’ position and it has one more quality opponent lined up for the final game of the regular season Saturday against Grand Junction Central.
The Raiders (10-5, 7-3 Continental League) entered the contest against Legend (12-4, 8-2) with three straight close victories after a 10-0 loss to top-ranked Rock Canyon and quickly fell behind the Titans 2-0 in the first inning.
Regis Jesuit countered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, however, as senior Lanie Smith’s single off the shortstop’s glove brought in two runs and senior Chloe Valdez plated another with a single off Legend starter Cameron Ponich. The Titans took the lead back with three runs off Smith in the top of the second.
The Raiders threatened to get more in the bottom of the second when junior Catharine Redden and sophomore Kendell Kersey got into scoring position with one out before Ponich bore down and got freshman Natalie Shellhorn and sophomore Brooke Carey to escape. Regis Jesuit also had the bases loaded with one out in the third, but Ponich induced an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play ball.
While the Raiders managed just one hit over the final four innings, Legend added three more runs with a aggressive baserunning and taking advantage of miscues.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sport
LEGEND 8, REGIS JESUIT 3
Score by innings (r-h-e):
Legend 230 020 1 — 8
Regis Jesuit 300 000 0 — 3