BOULDER — It won't be the last time Linnie Malkin faces Caylan Arnold in the next five years.
Malkin, the Broomfield High standout and BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year, recently gave her commitment to the University of Arkansas and on Thursday night — Day 2 of the Boulder Independence Day Tournament — she got her first look at the University of Tennessee commit, Arnold — who pitches for the SoCal Choppers.
Round 1 went to Malkin, who busted a 1-2 curve ball over the right field fence that scored three and sparked a 6-run rally that helped the Colorado Stars Gold team to a 6-4 victory in Pool B ... their first of the tournament.
"We have been off the first two games, so it felt god to get going again and be the Stars again," said Malkin, who is joined on the Stars by fellow Eagles Taylor Gilmore and Megan Biesterfeld. "It feels good to come out and be as good as them."
Said Stars coach and tournament director Dan Burns: "(Linnie) lead us, she has about 19 or 20 home runs and that was a big one for her."
The Choppers, who were undefeated after Day 1, come to Boulder annually and like many of the California teams play with a swagger that makes them tough to beat.
And after three innings, it looked like it was going to be more of the same for a team that has 16 D1 commitments. They scored three times in the top of the second inning and after a leadoff double in the third and a walk, the Choppers chased starter Taylor Pugh from the circle.
Reliever Cianna Curran came in a limited the damage, allowing just one run on a fielders choice that gave the Choppers a 4-0 lead.
The Stars managed just two hits the first time through against Arnold — one of which was a ripped double by Gilmore to the right-centerfield fence — but had better luck the second time around.
A leadoff single from Minnesota-bound Alex Velasquez set the table for the heart of the Star line-up. After a walk to Mallory Eldredge, Malkin stepped up and went opposite field with the home run to make it a 4-3 game.
A flustered Arnold then walked Jesse Smith and was taken out of the game. But the momentum was clearly on the Stars' side and they continued their onslaught against Stephanie Best.
Chayanna Gallardo and Kaley Barker each had RBI hits and Gilmore drove in another run with a fielders choice.
"We've come a long way and we feel like we can compete with these teams and we just have to go out an do it," said Burns, whose team played in New Jersey last week. ""We played hard."
Colorado Stars Gold 6, SoCal Choppers 4
At Stazio Field
SoCal Choppers 030 10 — 4 4 1
Colorado Stars Gold 000 60 — 6 6 1
W — Cianna Curran. L — Stephanie Best.
SoCal Chopper hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Abby Sweet 3-0-0-0, Megan Smith 2-0-0-0, Cayla Kessinger 1-0-1-0, Jessica Harper 3-0-0-0, Ally Shipman 2-1-1-0, Carly Gaskill 0-0-0-0, Caylan Arnold 2-0-1-0, Vanessa Barron 1-1-0-1, Gianna Marquecho 1-1-0-0, Cassidy Bygum 1-0-0-1, Amanda Doyle 0-1-0-0, Kamryn Tiumalu 1-0-1-2, Schuylar Broussard 1-0-0-0. Totals 18-4-4-4.
Colorado Stars Gold hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Alex Velasquez 3-1-1-0, Mikayla 3-0-0-0, Mallory Eldredge 1-1-0-0, Linnie Malkin 2-1-1-3, Jesse Smith 1-1-0-0, Val Ortega 2-0-1-1, Emily Moore 0-1-0-0, Chayanna Gallardo 2-1-1-1, Taylor Gilmore 2-0-1-1, Lily Sale 2-0-0-0, Kaley Barker 2-0-2-1. Totals 20-6-6-6.
SoCal Choppers pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Caylan Arnold 3.1-3-4-4-2-3, Stephanie Best 1-3-2-2-0-2.
Colorado Stars Gold pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Taylor Pugh 3+-3-4-2-5-0, Cianna Curran 2-1-0-0-2-0.