Softball: Grandview downs Fossil Ridge to win first 5A state championship

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Grandview captains, from left, Ande Troutman, Courtney Browne, Emily Supercynski and Kat Maynard walk together to home plate before the Class 5A state championship game on Oct. 18, 2014, at Aurora Sports Park. The Wolves beat top-seeded Fossil Ridge to win their first state title. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Grandview captains, from left, Ande Troutman, Courtney Browne, Emily Supercynski and Kat Maynard walk together to home plate before the Class 5A state championship softball game on Oct. 18, 2014, at Aurora Sports Park. The Wolves beat top-seeded Fossil Ridge to win their first state softball title. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Other Grandview softball teams had knocked on the door at the Class 5A state tournament, but the 2014 Wolves kicked it in Saturday.

The program had never advanced beyond the state quarterfinals and sent away several seniors in tears from the Aurora Sports Park in past years, but bolstered by the contributions of this year’s senior core of Kat Maynard, Emily Supercynski and Ande Troutman and the lights-out pitching of junior Courtney Browne, Grandview claimed its first state title with a 6-2 victory over Fossil Ridge.

Coach Dave Thies’ sixth-seeded Wolves — who outlasted No. 7 Broomfield 3-2 in 10 innings in the semifinals on Maynard’s walk-off single — pushed across six runs in the top of the third inning and that was all they needed to topple the top-seeded SaberCats, who were also seeking their first state championship.

“It was the most exciting thing I’ve had in my softball career, to see this group of girls have that kind of determination,” said Thies, who led Grandview to a title in his third season since coming over from 4A powerhouse Wheat Ridge.

“It was a totally different feeling that I’ve never had before,” he added. “They ran into a speedbump in the Broomfield game, but it didn’t bother me. I could see the determination in their faces.”

Grandview became the second 5A state softball champion from Aurora in the past decade, joining the Eaglecrest team that captured the 2005 state title. The Raptors were also the last Centennial League team to claim the crown ahead of a run that included six championships in seven seasons for Legacy.

The Wolves also became just the third city program with a state softball title, joining Eaglecrest and Gateway (which won 6A in 1992).

Supercynski experienced the sting of losses on the first day of the state tournament in each of the past two seasons, but had a different feeling with this year’s group as she watched it come together gradually.

With veterans and young players coming into their own, it was a championship mix.

“In years past, we never felt really confident going into state,” Supercynski said. “We were happy to be there, but part of us never really expected to go past Friday. …This time, we just wanted it for each other.

“We feel like we’re on top of the world; it’s pretty surreal,” she added.

Across the board, the Wolves agreed Browne’s pitching made the difference.

The junior right-hander — who also delivered the league championship with her bat with a three-run homer against Eaglecrest — allowed just four earned runs while throwing more than 300 pitches over 31 innings on the big stage.

“We had a really good system down with me and my coach and catcher,” Browne said. “We got better with communicating with what we were seeing and adjustments. Once we got into this really good groove, we got rolling.”

Browne also knew her offense would have her back, even after Fossil Ridge reached her for a run in the first inning to open the final.

The Wolves came through with six runs in the third on Jordyn McDaniel’s two-run single, RBI base hits by Supercynski and Terran Caldwell and a SaberCats’ error.

Grandview topped Chaparral 10-3 in the opening round and downed Columbine 10-2 in the quarterfinals Friday.

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

Class 5A state tournament (at Aurora Sports Park)

Championship: Grandview 6, Fossil Ridge 2

Score by innings:

Grandview   006 000 0 — 6

Fossil Ridge 101 000 0 — 2

Semifinal: Grandview 3, Broomfield 2 (9 inn.)

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Broomfield  000 000 200 0 — 2   7  0

Grandview   100 100 000  1 — 3  17  2