Softball: Makayla Kovac’s Styxx can’t stop Stars

Greg Lindstrom
The Stars’ Danielle Friel, center, celebrates with Taylar Saul, left, after scoring a run in the 18U championship game during the Stazio Memorial Invitational softball tournament at Erie Community Park on Monday, May 28, 2012. (Greg Lindstrom/Times-Call)

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ERIE — Many of Colorado’s top young girls softball players are featured each year at the Stazio Memorial softball tournament. Makayla Kovac is one of them.

Kovac and the Colorado Styxx lost 5-4 to the Colorado Stars in the 18U championship game at the Stazio Memorial on Monday. But playing tournaments like the Stazio Memorial and competing with her traveling team have made her the softball player she is.

“I love it,” Kavoc said. “Before, I was sort of losing my love for the game. But this is fun and intense. The team’s always fun and these players are recruited players, the best of the best.”

Kovac said being able to travel with the team to places such as California, where they can play year-round, has made her a much better player. Without the extra work she has put in over two seasons with the Styxx, Kovac likely would not have batted .507 with 31 RBIs for Erie High School her senior year.

Taking her lumps against some of Colorado’s toughest competition also helped Kovac earn a spot with the softball program at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction next year. Monday’s game was one of those lumps.

With a 4-3 lead going into the sixth and final inning of the championship game, the Stars scored two runs to retake the lead and the Styxx couldn’t come back to tie it.

“It sucks. It happens,” Kovac said. “We came out kind of soft and they jumped on us. Once we got our intensity building and our team up, they started making errors and we pounded on them. That last inning, things happen, balls drop. There’s nothing you can do about it, I guess.”

Monday’s championship was the Stars’ second straight Stazio Memorial 18U title.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi

CO Stars 5, CO Styxx 4

At Erie Community Park

CO Stars 003 002 0 — 5 11 3

CO Styxx 000 220 0 — 4 8 2

W — Applehans. L — Madsen.

CO Stars hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Leonard 4-1-3-0, Corning 2-0-1-0, Prokaski 2-0-1-1, Sendel 4-1-0-1, Cohen 1-0-0-1, Christianson 1-0-0-0, Wakefield 4-0-1-0, Applehans 3-0-1-1, Mitts 3-0-1-0, Bretti 3-1-2-0, Friel 3-2-1-0, McHale 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-5-11-4. 2B — Leonard, Friel.

CO Styxx hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — McCloshy 4-0-0-0, Gallegos 2-0-0-0, Matthewson 1-0-1-0, Kovac 3-1-0-0, Madsen 3-1-1-0, Manzanares 3-2-2-0, Skeen 1-0-0-0, Peters 2-0-2-4, Hendrickson 1-0-1-0, Reinky 2-0-0-0, Duncan 3-0-0-0, Anderson 3-0-0-0. Totals 28-4-8-4. 2B — Manzanares.

CO Stars pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Applehans 6-8-4-4-0-0.

CO Styxx pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Christianson 2 1/3-4-2-2-0-1, Madsen 3 2/3-4-3-2-0-2.