Softball: Patient Eaglecrest seizes chance in late innings to beat Cherokee Trail

274
Cherokee Trail-Eaglecrest Softball 9.23.13
Junior MIkayla Faulkner, center, celebrates with teammates after her two-run homer in the sixth inning of the Raptors’ 9-6 Centennial League softball win over Cherokee Trail on Sept. 23, 2013, at Eaglecrest High School. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

CENTENNIAL | If any game could have had the Eaglecrest softball team on the ropes, it was Monday’s Centennial League contest against Cherokee Trail.

Trailing the hot-starting Cougars by three runs after five innings, coach Yvette Hendrian’s resilient Raptors launched yet another late-inning comeback, scoring eight times in the final two innings to rally for an important 9-6 victory.

Junior Mikayla Faulkner broke a 4-4 tie with a two-run home run to spark a five-run sixth inning and Lauren Buckley, Tayler Mashburn and Rayle Glover plated insurance runs as Eaglecrest posted its fifth straight victory and improved to 13-3 overall and 8-1 in the Centennial League.

Buckley had three hits, Faulkner drove in three runs and sophomore Sarah Bushman picked up the victory with 2 2/3 innings of strong relief as Hendrian’s team grabbed a share of first place in the league. The Raptors play at the other co-leader, Mullen, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

For Cherokee Trail (6-8, 5-4), it was another Jekyll-and-Hyde effort that coach Dick Hormann has seen on too many occasions this season.

The Cougars did plenty well, including timely hitting in the early innings — a solo home run by Haley Peffer and 2-run double by Emily Sparks produced a 4-1 lead — and were stout defensively, including double plays turned by center fielder Miranda Davis and shortstop Alyssa Yoshida.

But baserunning mistakes blunted potential rallies leading off the fourth and fifth innings with a chance to add to the lead and starting pitcher Kayla Mashburn finally started to get hit in the third time through the Eaglecrest lineup.

Davis singled three times and scored three times, Sparks had a pair of doubles and two RBI and Peffer homered, tripled and drove in a run to highlight Cherokee Trail’s offensive attack.

EAGLECREST 9, CHEROKEE TRAIL 6

Score by innings:

Cher. Trail  001 300 2 — 6  12  3

Eaglecrest   010 035 x — 9  14  1

CHEROKEE TRAIL (ab-r-h-rbi)

Miranda Davis cf 4-3-3-0, Emily Sparks c 4-1-3-2, Christian Bobian 2b-p 4-0-2-1, Zoe Hinton 1b 3-0-1-1, Chloe Knapp dp 4-0-0-1, Skylar Higens lf 4-0-0-0, Haley Peffer rf 4-1-2-1, Alyssa Yoshida ss 2-0-0-0, Kourtney Kellogg 3b 3-0-1-0, MacKenzi Strong pr 0-1-0-0. Totals 32-6-12-6. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Kayla Mashburn (L, 5 2/3-13-9-8-0-3), Christian Bobian (1/3-1-0-0-0-0).

EAGLECREST (ab-r-h-rbi)

Lauren Buckley cf 4-2-3-1, Tayler Mashburn rf 4-1-2-2, Rayle Glover ss 4-0-2-1, Brooke Morris 1b 4-0-2-0, Alexa Romero p 3-0-1-0, Michenzie Pace c 3-0-0-0, Erin Keefe pr 0-1-0-0, Mikayla Faulkner 3b 3-1-2-3, Taylor Menard 2b 2-1-1-0, Chelsea Gorman lf 3-1-1-0. Totals 30-9-14-7. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Alexa Romero (4 1/3-8-4-4-2-1), Sarah Bushman (W, 2 2/3-4-2-2-0-0)

2B — Cherokee Trail: Emily Sparks 2; Eaglecrest: Rayle Glover, Tayler Mashburn; 3B — Cherokee Trail: Haley Peffer; HR — Cherokee Trail: Peffer (solo in 4th); Eaglecrest: Mikayla Faulkner (1 on in 6th).

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