AURORA — Erin Caviness dazzled throughout the state tournament in earning four dominating wins, Anna Martinez and the bats poured it on defending state champ Mountain View in the 4A state title game, and Noelle Gardon made a spectacular diving catch for the final out.
The celebration is on at Holy Family — party like it's 2006.
The Tigers threw their gloves into the air and piled into the pitching circle their ace had dominated throughout the two days at the state softball tournament at Aurora Sports Park.
They danced. They sang. They unwrapped their championship Ring Pops.
The moment, "amazing," said Tigers coach Mitch Martinez.
"You're so focused on the task at hand and kept going step by step, so you really don't think 'What are we going to do if or when we win it,'" he said. "When we got there, it was like, 'Wow, this is amazing.' It's overwhelming."
It was the Tigers' first softball championship in 4A and second in program history. Before this, they'd gone to the 3A title game from 2005-2008 and won their lone championship in 2006.
Caviness led the way in the latest edition, allowing only five earned runs over four games at state.
"She's really good," junior Anna Martinez said about Caviness. "She's a really great leader for this team."
The senior threw a two-hitter against Silver Creek to lead her team to the big game. And once there, Martinez kick-started the offense with a homer and three RBIs, Tyler Whitlock drove in four runs, and the Tigers broke open a tie game with five runs in the fourth inning.
In victory, Caviness said her long high school journey flashed before her eyes.
"When Noelle caught that last ball I just got the flashback of where we came from when I was a freshman to where we are now," she said. "It's so cool to see how these girls have grown up and how we've worked so hard together.
"This is where we ultimately wanted to be, and we finally achieved that."
After not finding the big hit through the first two innings against Mountain View in the finale, Martinez hit her first home run of the season to leadoff a three-run third. Then in a five-run fifth, she had a two-run single and Caviness added a two-run double. Whitlock made it 10-3 with a two-run triple in the sixth.
Before that, the Tigers had loaded the bases in the first with one out, then had a runner at third with no outs in the second — but Mountain View pitcher Bailey Carlson worked out of them unscathed.
"That's how this team has been all year," coach Martinez said. "Our team kind of lives off somebody getting that one (crucial) hit. And once they get that one hit — whatever that is or whoever that is, — it gets us going."
Mountain View tied things with two homers and three runs in the fourth off Caviness. Jaelyn Taylor hit a solo-shot to lead off the inning and Carlson hit a two-run drive with two outs.
The ace, though, locked back in and retired 10 of her last 13 batters. She credited her teammates for keeping her strong.
"A lot of the girls came up to me and they were like, 'You know I have so much faith in you, you just got to have faith in me. I'm going to have your back no matter what happens," Caviness said. "That just helped me a lot."
Earlier, Caviness threw a two-hitter in a 5-1 win over Silver Creek in the semifinals. The senior allowed two hits and no walks in seven innings, striking out eight.
She began the game by retiring 10 straight before Makayla Garcia's bloop single with one out in the fourth. Then, she sat down eight of the next nine before allowing a home run to Jetta Nannen to lead off the seventh.
"She was better than us today," Silver Creek coach Ryan Beavers said.
Holy Family became the first softball champ from the BoCoPreps area since Legacy won the 5A title in 2013.
Brent W. New: , email@example.com and @brentwnew
Holy Family 10, Mountain View 3
At Aurora Sports Park
Mountain View000 300 0 — 3 4 3
Holy Family 003 502 X — 10 10 0
W — Holy Family Erin Caviness (21-1). L — Bailey Carlson (16-7).
Mountain View hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Leoffler 3-0-0-0, Taylor 3-1-1-1, Basart 2--0-0, Chacon 2-1-0-0, Rogers 2-0-0-0, Carlson 3-1-1-2, Reed 3-0-1-0, Duke 3-0-0-0, Pomranka 3-0-1-0.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Martinez 4-2-2-3, Rode 3-2-1-0, Winters 3-2-2-0, Caviness 3-0-2-2, Whitlock 3-0-2-4, Gardon 4-0-0-0, Edwards 1-0-1-0, Kuszak 3-1-0-0 McKenzie 2-0-0-0.
Mountain View pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Carlson 6.0-10-10-2-5-1.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Caviness 7.0-4-3-3-2-9.