Niwot softball's young team sees ups and downs
September 11, 2016
Niwot softball opened the season on August 23 with an impressive win against the Greeley Central Wildcats. The Cougars scored 20 runs on 15 hits in the three-inning contest, while senior pitcher Grace Ladd retired all nine batters she faced. Ladd, who did not pitch in 2015 due to injury, was named the player of the game. The final score was Niwot 20, Greeley Central 0.
The Cougars were back in action on August 25 at home against Centaurus. For the second game in a row, Niwot trounced its opponent in just three innings, scoring 21 runs on eight hits, while allowing just one run. Ladd was again dominant on the mound, striking out five hitters and allowing a single hit. She also had a big game at the plate, with four RBI’s on three hits, including a home run. Freshman Reagan Wills, who was named player of the game, added two hits and six RBIs, while freshman Madysun Vaughan had a home run and three RBIs. Final score: Niwot 21, Centaurus 1.
On August 30, the Cougars traveled to Loveland to take on last year’s Northern League winner Mountain View. Despite a strong performance from Vaughan, who had two RBIs on three hits, the Cougars struggled to convert hits into runs, and fell to the Mountain Lions 9-3. Ladd allowed six earned runs on 11 hits, and fanned three batters.
For Labor Day Weekend, the Cougars traveled to Erie for the 15th annual Erie Tournament of Champions. Thirty teams, including five from Oklahoma, participated in the three-day event.
Niwot faced the Mullen Mustangs and Pueblo West Cyclones on its first day of tournament play, but a struggling offense and sloppy fielding doomed the Cougars to losses in both contests. Against the Mustangs, Niwot committed five errors, which led to five unearned runs and a 5-2 loss. The Cougars fell 9-1 to the Cyclones after four fielding errors again led to multiple unearned runs.
The Cougars bounced back on the second day of tournament play, losing narrowly to Chatfield (6-5) and then beating the Heritage Eagles 10-5. Niwot’s bats finally came alive against Chatfield, as Wills and junior Jaila Johnson combined for five hits and three RBIs. Against the Eagles, seven Cougars notched at least one hit, and senior pitcher Madison Kunkel allowed just four earned runs while striking out five batters.
The Cougars (2-5) will face the Silver Creek Raptors (7-1) at home on Tuesday, September 6, then will travel to Longmont on Thursday, September 8 to face the Longmont Trojans.