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Softball: Silver Creek Raptors win, stay focused on larger prize

LONGMONT — The Silver Creek Raptors are exactly where they want to be late in the regular season — in control.

Shelby Keil went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs, freshman Katelyn Strub hit a base-clearing triple and McKenna Kostelecky held cross-town rival Niwot to two hits during the Raptors’ 12-0 shutout victory in a Class 4A Northern League game on Tuesday.

For Silver Creek, a little payback was involved after the Cougars got the better of the first meeting. More importantly, however, the victory was confirmation that this team is on the right track.

“It was really important for us to come out here and show what we have,” Keil said. “We’re looking at the conference title but the bigger picture is we want a state title. It always feels good to have a big day; it boosts your confidence a little.”

Silver Creek (12-2 overall, 8-1 league) is tied with Broomfield for first place in the league standings with five games remaining, including two against the Eagles.

“If we dropped this one to Niwot our chances for a conference title get pretty difficult unless we get some help from other people,” Raptors coach Ryan Beavers said. “Now, our destiny is in our own hands. We’re in the driver’s seat, and if we take care of business game by game we will be where we need to be.”

Niwot (11-5, 8-3) went without ace pitcher Nickie Blue, who is dealing with a wrist injury.

In her absence, heavy-hitting Silver Creek was able to take advantage from the very start. Keil’s double triggered a three-run first inning and the Raptors did not slow down from there.

Macy Child hit an RBI double in the second, and Keil drove in another run with a single to make it 5-0 after two innings. In the third, Devin Aubry laid down a perfect bunt to reach first and load the bases, setting up Strub’s big blast.

While the base-runners scored easily, Strub struggled a bit getting all the way to third base.

“I tripped rounding second and I was really scared and didn’t know if I should go back,” said Strub, who recently moved up to varsity. “I’m really pumped. … I took my opportunity and I tried to make the best of it.”

The Silver Creek bats stayed hot in the third and fourth innings as the team piled up another seven runs to break the 10-run barrier and trigger the mercy rule.

Niwot coach Bobby Matthews said he would have liked to see a closer final score, but the result doesn’t change the fact that the Cougars will be advancing.

“We pretty much secured our spot in the postseason, now it’s about building and getting ready for that,” he said. “Yeah it’s a cross-town rival, but we’re looking at the big picture. Other girls needed a chance to play because you never know what is going to happen in the playoffs.

“Besides, they owed us one.”

Brady Delander can be reached at bdelander@times-call.com.

Silver Creek 12, Niwot 0

At Silver Creek H.S.

Niwot (11-5, 8-3) 000 00 — 0 2 1

S. Creek (12-2, 8-1) 323 4x — 12 14 0

W — McKenna Kostelecky (10-2). L — Halie Artzer (1-1).

Niwot hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Mikalah Artzer 1-0-0-0, Haley McPherson 3-0-0-0, Jordan Eutsler 2-0-1-0, Taylor Supino 2-0-0-0, Jessica Johnson 2-0-0-0, Rosie VandeHoef 2-0-0-0, H. Artzer 1-0-0-0, Raven Baca 2-0-1-0, Jalen Valdez 2-0-0-0. Totals 17-0-2-0.

Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Elise Dugwyler 3-1-0-0, Rachel Olson 3-2-2-0, Shelby Keil 3-0-3-2, Alexa Busby 0-1-0-0, Amanda Siedem 3-1-1-1, Kostelecky 2-0-2-2, Brittany Sanders 0-2-0-0, Kerry Brundage 1-2-1-0, Devin Aubry 2-1-1-0, Sierra Gray 1-0-1-1, Katelyn Strub 2-1-1-3, Katrina Hunt 1-0-1-1, Macy Child 2-1-1-1, Sydney Mathias 1-0-0-0. Totals 24-12-14-11. 2B — Keil 2, Child, Dugwyler, Kostelecky. 3B —Strub.

Niwot pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — H. Artzer 1-4-3-3-1-1, M. Artzer 2(1/3)-10-9-9-2-2, Johnson 2/3-0-0-0-0-0.

Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kostelecky 5-2-0-0-3-0.

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