BROOMFIELD — Hot? Linnie Malkin is scorching, even when the opposition refuses to pitch to her.
On another one of those it's-great-to-live-in-Colorado early fall afternoons, Malkin rapped two home runs on Thursday as Broomfield clinched at least a tie for the Class 5A Front Range League title with a resounding, five-inning 17-2 victory over host and perennial power Legacy.
But it was the way that her second homer happened that was eye-popping and a possible SportsCenter moment. The Arkansas pledge had homered in the first inning, a three-run shot to left field that gave the Eagles, now 15-2 overall, 10-0 in league, a lead they never relinquished.
And after being intentionally walked in the third inning, she came up again and Legacy threw ball one outside in another obvious attempt to pass on dealing with her. However, Lightning reliever Hannah Farley got too close with an attempt on ball two and Malkin was waiting for it — and she hit it out to center field for a solo shot, her 10th in 2016.
"Yeah, it was a little outside, but I thought it was reachable," Malkin said. "I was able to get it."
In winning its 10th game in succession, Broomfield has scored 160 runs, fifth in 5A, with a murderers' row of sorts that was on display Thursday. The Eagles banged out 15 hits and sent 13 batters to the plate in a nine-run fifth.
"To have the hitting team we have this year, with Linny at the top, but it's all the way through," Eagles coach Paula Seifried said. "We're strong 1 through 9 (in the order) and we got contributions from everybody. They came to play today."
The Eagles feasted on Legacy (12-4, 7-2) pitching. No. 8 hitter Lainey Hughes had three hits. Avery Bohn, Brennan Thomas, Malkin, Megan Biesterfeld and Kendall Lockwood each added two. Lockwood had a grand slam in the fifth to officially make it a laugher against an established, accomplished foe.
"It was amazing," Malkin said and added that she'd like to get to 15 homers for the year.
Said Seifried: "Absolutely, (the Lightning) are a great team, even when they're young like they are this year. It's always nice to beat Legacy.
"Look at those softballs (outfield signs with accomplishments) out there, lots of final fours and championships."
Lightning coach Dawn Gaffin appreciates the respect, but it doesn't necessarily win games. Plus, her group was guilty of five errors, four in the ridiculous fifth.
"We as a coaching staff don't have to go back to the drawing board, but we have to come back and fix a couple things," she said. "Broomfield is a great hitting team and even their (assistant coach) said he doesn't know how to pitch to them. What we're going to have to do is figure out how to face that team and stop the bleeding a little better."
Broomfield starter Taylor Gilmore went the distance, permitted only five hits - none after the third - threw strikes and let her defense make plays.
Broomfield will host Rocky Mountain on Saturday, then Boulder in a week to close out the regular season.
"We have to keep moving forward," Malkin said.
BROOMFIELD 17, LEGACY 2
At Legacy H.S.
Broomfield 304 19 — 17 15 1
Legacy 101 00 — 2 5 5
W —BroomfieldGilmore. L — Kelly.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Bohn dh 4-2-2-0, Thomas 2b 4-2-2-2, Malkin 3b 2-4-2-4, Gilmore p 4-1-1-1, Morales 1b 3-2-1-0, Biesterfeld ss 4-3-2-1, Lockwood lf 4-2-2-5, Hughes cf 4-1-3-1, Jackson c 2-0-0-1, Sutton rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-17-15-15.. 2B —Morales, Kubitschek, Lockwood. 3B —Thomas. HR —Malkin 2. Lockwood.
Legacy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Strathearn 2b 3-0-1-0, Kubitschek3b 3-1-1-0, Cook 1b 2-0-1-0, Taggart c 2-0-1-0, Hansen cr 0-1-0-0, Foley cf 3-1-0-0, Nelson dh 3-0-0-0, Dannenberg 2b 1-0-0-0, Hernandez ss 2-0-1-0, Pfeifer rf 2-0-0-0, Kelly p 0-0-0-0, Farley p 0-0-0-0. Totals 21-2-5-1.. 2B — Taggart.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Gilmore 5-5-2-1-2-2.
Legacy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kelly 4-14-16-15-3-1, Farley 1-1-1-1-0-0.