ERIE — On an empty patch of grass away from The Ballpark at Erie, the Legacy softball players slogged through their usual postgame conditioning routine on Saturday.
Only this time, the Lightning had something different to mull over while they sweated in the late-morning heat. At the end of a challenging three days at Erie's Tournament of Champions, the Lightning had just lost 12-2 in five innings to Oklahoma powerhouse Broken Arrow. It was the perennial Colorado staple's first loss of the season.
The Lightning doesn't have much experience losing over the last decade. The program almost never gets mercy-ruled, even by the likes of Broken Arrow, which has won seven Class 6A Oklahoma state tiles since 1998.
"It wasn't our best, let's put it that way," Legacy head coach Dawn Gaffin said. "We have played much better. Is it a measuring stick game? Absolutely. We've played some pretty good teams up until now but they definitely showed us some stuff that we need to work on. But you know, the last time we lost to Broken Arrow, we won state."
In the latest meeting between the two interstate teams, three errors behind starter Raegan Edwards doomed the Lightning (5-1) while the Broken Arrow Tigers (2-3) pounded out 12 hits including two home runs. The Tigers scored four runs in the third inning, seven in the fourth and one more in the fifth to activate the 10-run rule.
Lauren Strathearn and Parker Dannenberg scored the Lightning's two runs in the third inning. Katelyn Kubitschek, who had two hits, and Trisha Cook had the team's two RBIs.
In its two previous Tournament of Champions games, the Lightning defeated seventh-ranked Pomona, 12-8, and Spiro (OK), 12-4. After finishing with an anomalous 10-11-1 record in 2015, the Lightning are off to a fast start to a season that the team figures to be an improved campaign.
"They're young," said Gaffin, who is in her 17th season coaching the Lightning. "I've got two seniors on the field and one more that comes in as a designated runner. It's a learning curve and I'd rather learn it now than October 21st. We're going to go fix it on Tuesday. I mean that."
After what figures to be an enlightening practice on Tuesday, the Lightning will hit the road to take on Arvada West (4-2) on Wednesday.
Broken Arrow (OK) 12, Legacy 2
At The Ballpark at Erie
Broken Arrow 004 71 — 12 12 0
Legacy 002 00 — 2 6 3
W — Kelly. L — Edwards.
Broken Arrow hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Collins 4-1-1-0, Carney 4-2-2-2, Jarius 4-2-1-0, Spencer 3-2-2-5, Ortiz 3-0-1-1, McElroy 0-1-0-0, Lawson 3-1-2-2, Jameson 3-0-0-0, Edwards 3-1-1-0, McKellip 3-2-2-0. Totals 30-12-12-10.
Legacy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Strathearn 3-1-1-0, Kubitschek 3-0-2-1, Cook 2-0-1-1, Taggert 2-0-1-0, Foley 1-0-0-0, Pfeifer 2-0-0-0, Conradie 2-0-0-0, Hernandez 1-0-0-0, Nelson 1-0-0-0, Dannenberg 2-1-1-0. Totals 19-2-6-2.
Broken Arrow pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Edwards 5-6-2-2-0-0.
Legacy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kelly 5-12-12-12-0-0.