BOULDER — Head coach Ryne Willis said Hannah Sheridan has been a bright spot for the young Fairview softball team all season.
Illuminating a 16-1 loss to seventh-ranked Loveland on Friday, Sheridan prevented a shutout with a solo home run in the second inning.
“In that moment, you can’t be thinking home run,” Sheridan said of her fourth dinger in five games. “Whenever you do, it’s not going to happen. You have to go up there, clear your mind and focus in on the ball. That’s how I was. That’s all it is. It’s 100-percent mental.”
After winning just one game last year, the Knights are at 7-9 with three games — Mountain Range, Fort Collins and Horizan — to go.
One of five sophomores starting for the Knights this season, Sheridan said there’s been a steep learning curve for FHS this season. But the Knights are learning.
“As a team, we’re trying to work out this little kink that we have, which is that we have so much potential but we haven’t been fully jumping on that,” Sheridan said. “That’s what we’ve been trying to work out in these past few games.”
Saturday’s loss was the Knights’ fourth straight since beating rival Boulder 9-1 on Sept. 20. It also was the third game during that span that Sheridan accounted for the team’s only run with a solo shot.
The visiting Indians (15-1, 9-0 5A Front Range) arrived at Fairview High School coming off a 15-4 dismantling of top-ranked Legacy on Thursday.
The Knights hadn’t expected to beat the Indians. But they were hoping for a more competitive game. Willis, now in his second year as head coach, said the Knights didn’t show the kind of heart they possess, nor did they play up to their potential.
“We were a little bit disappointed with jus the way we went about our business,” Willis said. “You don’t expect to walk out and 10-run the number one team in the state. But you also don’t expect to walk out and roll over and get beaten the way that we did.”
Averaging over 10 runs a game, the Indians totaled 13 hits, including two home runs. They scored four runs in the first inning, three in the third and nine in the run-rule-clinching fifth.
Sophomore pitcher Julia McCue said her approach against arguably Colorado’s best lineup was not to focus on the Indians’ many dangerous bats. Instead, she tried to relax and go into it with the attitude that she had nothing to lose and not avoid any hitters.
“I only had a few walks, so I did a pretty good job on that,” McCue said. “You have to be aggressive but not too aggressive. It’s definitely a fine line. I think I did a good job of putting the ball in the strike zone.”
Of the Knights’ two hits, senior Teresa Prinster had the other, a double to lead off the fourth inning.
The Knights will host Mountain Range (10-7, 3-6) on Tuesday.
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Loveland 16, Fairview 1
At Fairview H.S.
Loveland (15-1, 9-0) 403 09 — 16 13 0
Fairview (7-9, 3-5) 010 00 — 1 2 2
W — Smith. L — McCue
Loveland hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — C. Bakovich 3-2-1-1, Hass 4-2-1-1, King 3-3-2-0, Coldiron 3-3-3-5, Smith 3-1-1-3, Anderson 2-1-0-1, Posegate 3-2-2-0, B. Bakovich 2-0-1-1, Archuleta 2-1-1-1, Preciado 2-1-1-0. Totals 27-16-13-13. 2B — Hass, King, Coldiron, B. Bakovich. 3B — C. Bakovich. HR — Smith (1 on in 3rd), Smith (2 on in 5th). SB — Coldiron.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Russell 2-0-0-0, Prinster 2-0-1-0, Todacheene 2-0-0-0, Sheridan 2-1-1-1, Flanagan 2-0-0-0, Perley 2-0-0-0, Hoecherl 2-0-0-0, McCue 1-0-0-0, Rose 1-0-0-0, Laber 1-0-0-0. Totals 17-1-2-1. 2B — Prinster. HR — Sheridan (solo in 2nd).
Loveland pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Smith 5-2-1-1-0-3.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McCue 4-13-14-13-4-1, Lanzoni 1-0-2-0-4-1.