LONGMONT — Yes, it is OK to be a little sympathetic, and many of the Silver Creek Raptors softball players were on Wednesday afternoon, when they found out that Broomfield's Lauren Klein was not going to be the girl in the pitching circle when the two teams clashed at the SCHS softball field.
The Class 4A Raptors and 5A Eagles certainly have a mutual respect for each other, and when it was learned that Klein will miss the season because of a devastating structural knee injury suffered in a preseason scrimmage, they knew the area had also lost one of its best players for 2018.
But it didn't take long for the Raptors to look into their own dugout and visualize the task at hand in just their second game of the season, and the lineup was in the mood for swinging away in an 18-3 victory. Silver Creek pounded 15 hits, and an 11-run third inning paved the way for a shortened game that lasted just four frames.
"You just have to be ready for any pitcher you face," said sophomore Maddie Kuehl, who went 2-for-4 and hit a 3-run home run on the first pitch she saw in the third inning. "Broomfield is always a really good team, but we just came out and had a real good warmup and then came out really hot today.
"Everybody in our lineup is doing real well so far. We lost a lot of seniors last year but I think we've made up for it, and it's exciting."
Silver Creek (2-0) opened the season last Friday with a 13-0 victory against Northridge, a clear indication that the team seemed to be firing on all cylinders with plenty of practices and scrimmages under their belts.
On Wednesday it was more of the same and it came early and often. Silver Creek plated five runs in the first inning, added another in the second and then exploded in the third inning as 15 batters ran up to the plate from the on-deck circle to take some hacks.
In addition to Kuehl's two hits, Kayla Harper and Jordan Fisher tallied three hits and Julia Gilson had three RBI's along with three runs scored batting cleanup.
"(Klein's) a very talented pitcher ... and Broomfield is still a talented program but I just think we did hit on all cylinders and were great in our overall execution," said Silver Creek head coach Ryan Beavers, whose team will play in the Fossil Ridge tournament this weekend, Mountain View next Tuesday and then the Erie Festival the following weekend. "We still have some room for improvement. They're defining their identity and culture on this team right now, and last year it was about one-third into the season before we found it. That's a testament to the seniors."
Broomfield dropped to 3-1-1 on the season, the result on Wednesday a blip in what still hopes to be a promising season in the Front Range League. The Eagles played in the Loveland Softball Showcase this past weekend and gained victories over Mountain Vista, traditionally strong Cherry Creek and Fountain-Fort Carson. They also tied 4A defending champ Mountain View 9-9.
Head coach Paula Seifried said the team will lean on Aubrey Mickelson and Hadlee Reichert along with Emmie Meeks, but putting Reichert in the circle also means losing a phenomenal fielding shortstop.
"Unfortunately, we found out today that (Klein) was going to miss the season and I think that affected us ... but it was just ugly on our half today," Seifried said. "We did a great job of adjusting to things last weekend, but today we didn't adjust. One game does not define us, though, and we are ready to shake it off and learn from it. "
Broomfield will also be in next week's Erie tournament.
Silver Creek 18, Broomfield 3
At Silver Creek
Broomfield003 0 — 3 4 3
Silver Creek51(11) 1 — 18 15 2
W — Jetta Nannen. L — Aubrey Mickelson.
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Linnea Baldner 2-0-1-0, Olivia Kloster 1-1-0-0, Hadlee Reichert 2-1-1-0, Jennifer Eatmon 2-1-0-0, Bryna Kapelke 2-0-1-0, Kailey Morales 2-0-0-0, Aubrey Mickelson 1-0-0-0, Emmie Meeks 1-0-0-0, Chloe Eiguren 2-0-0-0, Mallory Kitto 2-0-1-0. Totals 17-3-4-0.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kayla Harper 3-3-3-2, Makayla Garcia 3-2-2-2, Jetta Nannen 3-2-2-1, Julia Gilson 4-3-2-3, Maddie Kuehl 4-1-2-3, Brooke Wager 1-0-0-0, Morgan Suess 1-0-0-0, Jordan Fisher 4-2-3-3, Bailey Beavers 2-1-0-1, Nicole Wilson 2-2-1-1, MacKenzie Hunt 0-2-0-0, Ashley Gaccetta 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-18-15-16.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Mickelson 2.1-10-13-6-3-1, Emmie Meeks 1.1-5-5-2-1-2.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Nannen 4-4-3-1-0-6.