Softball: Big inning helps Brighton deal Eaglecrest first loss of season

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Brighton-Eaglecrest Softball, 8.27.14
Eaglecrest senior Mikayla Faulkner digs toward third base on her triple in the second inning of the Raptors’ 4-2 non-league softball loss to Brighton on Aug. 27, 2014. Faulkner went 3-for-3 in the game, but the Raptors fell to 3-1. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

CENTENNIAL | Eaglecrest softball coach Yvette Hendrian beefed up her team’s schedule for a reason in 2014, to learn from playing the best of the best.

The Raptors ran into their fourth straight quality team in as many contests in the new season on Wednesday with a visit from Brighton and finally saw their early winning streak end.

The Bulldogs clubbed three extra base hits in a span of four batters off Eaglecrest starting pitcher Alexa Romero in the fifth inning — two of them home runs, including a three-run blast from Brittany Abeyta — and ace pitcher Melissa Rahrich made it hold up in a 4-2 lightning-delayed victory for Brighton.

Brighton-Eaglecrest Softball, 8.27.14
Eaglecrest junior Alexa Romero winds up to deliver a pitch in the first inning of the Raptors’ 4-2 loss to Brighton. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Mikayla Faulkner finished 3-for-3 with a triple and drove in a run for the Raptors, who managed just two runs despite a total of eight hits off Rahrich, who they beat in a 5A district tournament in 2013. Hendrian’s team — which opened the season with wins over Douglas County, Rock Canyon and Dakota Ridge — dropped to 3-1 overall.

Eaglecrest drew first blood in the second inning when Faulkner tripled and Jordyn Wiatrak dumped an RBI single to center field and the lead held until the Bulldogs came up in the fifth inning.

With two outs, Rahrich launched a moon shot over the fence in center field to tie the game and Hendrian made a visit to the mound after the left-handed Romero walked Kayla Michel and allowed a double that reached the fence by Madison Motes.

Though she had right-hander Sarah Bushman warming up, Hendrian stuck with her starter with Abeyta coming to the plate and the left field smoked a three-run shot to left center to vault Brighton into the lead.

Base running mistakes and good defensive plays by the Bulldogs thwarted a couple of Eaglecrest rallies until the sixth inning when freshman first baseman Kailey Wilson cracked a double to left field. As soon as Wilson hit second base, umpires sent the teams off the field for a mandatory 30 minute delay due to visible lightning nearby.

Brighton-Eaglecrest Softball, 8.27.14
Eaglecrest center fielder Lauren Buckley fires to second base for a force after a single in the sixth innings of the Raptors’ 4-2 loss to Brighton. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

When the teams returned to the field, Faulkner singled in Wilson, but Rahrich struck out Wiatrak looking to end the inning. The Raptors went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

Eaglecrest’s difficult schedule continues with a trip to the Erie Tournament of Champions at The Ballpark at Erie, where the Raptors are scheduled to play Chatfield and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, on Friday and Arvada West and Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on Saturday.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel

BRIGHTON 4, EAGLECREST 2

Score by innings:

Brighton    000 040 0 — 4   7   0

Eaglecrest  010 001  0 — 2   8   0

BRIGHTON (ab-r-h-rbi)

Carley Robinson cf 4-0-1-0, Ayla Robinson ss 4-0-1-0, Melissa Rahrich p 4-1-2-1, Kayla Michel c 1-1-0-0, Madison Motes 1b 4-1-1-0, Brittany Abeyta lf 3-1-1-3, Julienna Montoya 2b 3-0-1-0, Natalie Sanchez 3b 3-0-0-0, Aubrey Kibbi dp 2-0-0-0. Totals 28-4-7-4. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Melissa Rahrich (W, 7-8-2-2-0-2).

EAGLECREST (ab-r-h-rbi)

Lauren Buckley cf 3-0-2-0, Taylor Menard 2b 3-0-1-0, Alexa Romero p 3-0-0-0, Kailey Wilson 1b 3-1-1-0, Mikayla Faulkner ss 3-1-3-1, Jordyn Wiatrak c 3-0-1-1, Michenzie Pace dp 3-0-0-0, Tayler Mashburn 3b 3-0-0-0, Chelsea Gorman lf 2-0-0-0. Totals 26-2-8-2. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Alexa Romero (L, 4.1-6-4-4-3-4), Sarah Bushman (2.2-1-0-0-1-2).

2B — Brighton: Madison Motes, Ayla Robinson; Eaglecrest: Lauren Buckley, Kailey Wilson. 3B — Eaglecrest: Mikayla Faulkner. HR — Brighton: Melissa Rahrich (solo in 5th), Brittany Abeyta (2 on in 5th).