BROOMFIELD — With one swing of the bat on Wednesday, Mead's Erin Hanafin turned a good day into a great one. And, with one or two real big heads-up plays, the Mavericks turned a good game into a great win.
You want comebacks? Less than a week into the season, the Mavericks put in their bid for what could be the best all year — beating Holy Family 11-10 at HFHS after the Tigers held an 8-0 lead after two innings of play.
Either way you slice it, the game was crazy. Through it all Hanafin, a sophomore shortstop, had all the moxie of an established veteran and that paid off in the seventh inning when she hit a two-out grand slam to give MHS a six-run final frame and take an 11-9 lead.
And despite committing five errors, the Mavericks ended the contest the only way possible — with a 5-3-2 double play to cut down the tying run at home and give them their first-ever win over Holy Family in the sport.
"We are always picking each other up, just controlling of ourselves and full of confidence to never give up," said Hanafin, who had four hits and knocked in six runs out of the leadoff spot. "This is Mead, this is our year to be going stronger and stronger into the season."
"I'm just so proud of the way we worked through this one, with excellent defense when it mattered and discipline at the plate," added Mead head coach Amanda Macaluso. "We've seen great character out of our freshmen and amazing stamina out of our sophomores. Calm, cool and collected, and nothing is too big."
Both teams were coming off stale season-opening wins — stale in that they were blowouts as Mead (2-0 overall and in the Tri-Valley League) walloped Berthoud 15-3 and Holy Family dominated Roosevelt 12-2.
It looked like possibly another run-rule shortened game was in the making when Holy Family (1-1 overall and in the TVL) touched up Anna Veltien and the Mead defense for six runs in the opening frame and another pair in the second.
Slowly but surely, however, the Mavericks went into collective action. They made it 8-5 by the fourth, but Erin Caviness's two-out triple was cashed in when Erin Winters got her second of three hits in the bottom of the fourth.
It stayed that way until the seventh — thanks in part to an appeal of a Holy Family run in the fifth in which it was determined the base--runner did not touch home plate.
To get to Hanafin, the Mavericks nearly had to bat around. Late substitute Izzy Cox drove in a pair of runs with a base hit to make it 9-7 with one out and No. 9 hitter Taylor Brown outran an infield hit to keep the inning alive for Hanafin. Having already hit a double and two singles, she cleared the wall on a 1-0 pitch and jumped her way around the bases.
Down 11-9, Winters and Cassidy Chvatal got on base to lead the bottom of the seventh, but Chvatal was thrown out at home on a delayed attempt to score after a groundout by Haley Almeida.
"There was so much pressure ... and a lot of times when there's pressure on me I overthink," Hanafin said. "I'm glad I did not this time. I was really happy to be able to do something to help the team and make a really good win from a close game."
"The league, any game is anybody's and it really boils down to that day," Macaluso said. "There are so many teams that are neck-and-neck, at least among the top five teams."
Mead 11, Holy Family 10
At Holy Family HS
Mead004 100 6 — 11 8 5
Holy Family620 100 1 — 10 11 2
W — A. Veltien. L — J. Gonzales.
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Erin Hanafin 5-2-4-6, Hale 3-0-0-1, Veltien 3-2-1-0, Levine 3-1-1-1, Drouhard 4-0-0-0, Hebda 2-1-0-0, Nunn 1-1-0-0, Cox 2-1-1-2, Hernandez-Heard 3-1-0-0, Brown 2-2-1-0, Hanson-Peterson 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-11-8-10.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — McKenzie 4-1-1-0, Martinez 4-1-2-0, Leins 3-2-1-1, Caviness 3-2-2-1, Winters 4-2-3-1, Chvatal 4-1-0-1, Gardon 4-1-0-1, Papacek 2-0-0-0, Pfenning 2-0-1-0, Almeida 3-0-1-1. Totals 32-10-11-5.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Veltien 7-12-10-8-2-5.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Caviness 5-3-5-1-5-3, Gonzales 2-5-6-1-2-3.