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Softball: Murray’s blast highlights Woodson’s first win at Longmont

LONGMONT — The sound was more fitting for baseball, a thwap! generally unheard of in softball.

That’s why spectators and players alike could only gaze at McKenzie Murray’s blast, a skyscraper that put an exclamation point on new Longmont coach Randy Woodson’s first victory with the Trojans.

The mammoth home run down the left-field line provided the host Trojans’ final runs in an 11-5 win against Class 4A Northern League foe Centaurus, and capped a 3-for-4, five-RBI day for Murray.

“It was pretty exciting,” Murray said. “It was all about the team and all about the win.”

Murray also threw a 1-2-3 opening inning before Hali Walters took over. Murray was displeased with her season-opening pitching outing in an 8-1 loss to Frederick and wanted to get back in the pitching circle as soon as possible.

She returned to relieve Walters in the seventh and induced what could be termed a delayed triple play. After coaxing a tapper for a groundout, Walters (who moved to first base) then nailed a baserunner at home. After a brief delay, another Warriors runner took off from first and was thrown out by catcher Alexis Sayles.

“I’m still disappointed in how I threw (against Frederick), but I was more disappointed in letting down my team more than anything else,” Murray said.

Murray’s blast cleared the left-field wall by such a margin that it caromed off the backside of a baseball fence far beyond the barrier.

“She’s going to be that kind of hitter all year,” Woodson said. “She’s all or nothing. She’s probably going to lead our team in home runs and she’s probably going to lead our team in strikeouts. But that’s what you get out of your power hitters.”

Woodson only recently got his full staff together and learned that he would not have enough players to field a JV team. That means about 17 players are on the varsity squad, and he had been coaching them all by himself before adding assistants Aaron Thomas and Lauren Hofmann.

After the opening loss to Frederick, getting his first win in front of the Trojans’ home crowd was satisfying.

“We’re a little behind, but now we have the entire coaching staff intact and we should catch up quick,” he said.

Centaurus (2-1, 0-1) was decent at the plate, but struggled with a few errors, walks, and poor decisions in situational aspects. The Warriors, too, have a new coach in Rick Parks, who is taking over while Mike Lujan is on hiatus for health reasons.

Camille Leonard and Maddy Love had two hits apiece for the Warriors.

“This is the first high-velocity pitching that we’ve seen, and I’m very pleased how we battled,” Parks said. “We have some young girls playing, and the way we battled against two pitchers that throw hard, that’s what we want to see.”

Of note, Warriors senior catcher Danelle Dondelinger twice was plunked by Walters and the two appeared to exchange words when Dondelinger slid into home with Walters covering in the seventh.

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Longmont 11, Centaurus 5

At Longmont H.S.

Centaurus 010 200 2 — 5 6 3

Longmont 204 302 X — 11 8 1

W — Walters. L — Kaiser.

Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jessip 4-0-1-0, Dilullo 2-1-0-0, Dondelinger 2-1-0-0, McClure 2-0-0-0, Johnson 3-1-1-0, Shepard 4-1-0-0, Love 2-1-2-0, Burgess 2-0-0-1, Wright 1-0-0-0, Leonard 3-0-2-1. Totals 25-5-6-2. 2B — Love, Jessip. 3B — Johnson.

Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Hargash 2-3-1-1, Owens 2-2-1-0, Johnson 1-0-0-0, Spendlow 4-2-0-0, Murray 4-2-3-5, Walters 3-0-1-1, Herold 4-0-0-1, Allmen 3-0-0-0, Sayles 2-1-1-0, Rosenbrock 3-1-1-0. Totals 28-11-8-8. 2B — Murray, Owens. HR — Murray (one on in 4th). SB — Hargash, Owens.

Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kaiser 4-4-9-3-4-2, McClure 2-4-2-2-1-1.

Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Murray 1-0-0-0-0-1, Walters 5-6-5-3-5-5, Murray 1-0-0-0-1-0 (Murray total 2-0-0-0-1-1).