ERIE -- Legacy and Broken Arrow, Okla., are not sworn enemies. They are just a couple of softball powerhouses that hate to lose to each other.
This fact was more than evident Saturday, at the Erie Ballfields where the teams went tit for tat at every turn in the Erie Festival of Champions. And while each squad had its opportunity to wrap up the win, neither did.
For a second time in the annual match-up at the tournament, the Colorado and Oklahoma softball rivals walked off the field tied.
"They're a really good team," said Legacy pitcher Haley Smith, after the 4-4 stalemate. "They have great hitters and defense. We have all that too, but we just didn't get started early enough."
Smith had a huge showing for Legacy, giving Broken Arrow all it could handle and more.
The right-hander gave the five-time defending Class 5A champions an advantage on defense. She struck out only two batters and gave up a solo home run, but held Broken Arrow scoreless in four innings. The sophomore opened the games scoring in the first and then tied the game in the third, both off RBI singles. Her second hit lit a fire under Legacy, which quickly parlayed the play into a commanding lead.
The Lightning went up 4-2, with Kylie Barnard batting in another run in the third and Paige Reichmuth another in the fourth. But the team just could not hold on to the lead.
"Broken Arrow is an awesome team, so I'm always happy that we played them tough," Legacy coach Dawn Gaffin said. "But we pulled some crazy moves out there today and that's on me."
The Lightning had a strong showing, but did not earn a win a the tournament. Legacy opened play Friday with a 5-5 tie with Chatfield, then closed Saturday with a 4-1 loss to Grove, Okla.
BROOMFIELD CAN'T HOLD ONTO EARLY MOMENTUM
Broomfield softball had the right touch to start the Erie Festival of Champions, but it did not last until the end.
The Eagles finished the two-day tournament Saturday, with a 2-2 record, recording two losses on in their final two outings. But the falters were not against slouches, with Tahlequah-Sequoya, Okla., and Wheat Ridge getting the better of the Class 4A team.
It was a complete turn from Friday, where twice the team rattled off convincing wins.
"A lot of it comes down to working as a team," Broomfield second baseman Lyndsey Babcock said. "We have the talent, we just have to come together as a team."
The Eagles started their tournament with a mercy-rule win over Liberty. Then the team backed it up edging Frederick 6-5. But Saturday, Paula Seifried could tell something just was not clicking the early on in Broomfield's game against Tahlequah-Sequoya.
But even in the face of falling to the Oklahoma squad 10-1, then Wheat Ridge 12-5, the coach believes her team can rebound.
"That's what I'm hoping," Seifried said.
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