BOULDER — Matt Frederick couldn’t exactly lash out at his Fairview softball team after Friday’s game in which the Knights struck out 17 times. Why? Because they still won, defeating one of the state’s premier pitchers.
But, he still wanted to see something different Saturday morning against Boulder. Approaches at the plate needed to be better, and they were in the rivalry affair, as FHS collected 13 hits in a 10-0 win over the Panthers.
It was quite an interesting dynamic going from Denver East’s talented Kenya Lindstrom to seeing a solid-but-still-young hurler in Boulder’s Kelly McCarty, but Frederick liked what he saw in the six-inning game at the Boulder field.
“We faced one of the state’s best pitchers (Friday), and we are learning how to hit a pitcher of that level,” Frederick said. “I think what translated today was our ability to adjust to a different pitcher immediately after. In league we’ll see all kinds of speeds and all kinds of pitches, and we need to be able to adjust game-by-game.
“I was very happy with how our girls showed up after just 12 hours off the field, ready to go.”
Rachel Perley hit a second-inning home run that seemed to give the Knights a jolt, and she as well as Katie Sanko and Jayden Slater each ended up with three hits to put the Knights at 5-2 for the season.
Sanko, after getting the win over East with a shutout performance, pitched three innings of hitless ball Saturday. Julia McCue finished the contest, allowing just one Harmony Wright single.
“I think we were annoyed (by Friday), and we came out knowing this was our day to come back,” Sanko said. “We were going to hit the (heck) out of the ball, and everything was going to go our way, which it did.
“That’s how we do it. We’re not happy with one or two, or three, four, five … We have to keep going like we did.”
Despite the game not having league implications anymore (Boulder moved to the 4A Northern League this season), there was still a sense of intensity on both sides throughout.
And, for the first three frames, it was a close contest. Perley’s bomb was a solo blast, and the Knights scored two unearned runs in the third inning. Meanwhile, Boulder had a threat in the bottom of the second with two on base and one out, but Sanko managed to wiggle out of the jam with a strikeout and groundout.
“We do struggle hitting … we all knew we could hit and we were making contact but it was just right to them,” said Boulder’s Adrianna Gomez. “We all thought that if we were going to have our best game, it’s got to be today. We played our hardest, and we made some mistakes, but we made up for that with our intensity and heart.”
The fourth inning was when Fairview pulled away, on the strength of four base hits — two of which were doubles. The Panthers for the most part played clean defensively, but the Knights managed some solid contact throughout their lineup. Molly O’Connor also drove in two runs for Fairview.
“We’re starting to figure out our strategies. We’re playing with confidence and playing at a level I know we’re capable of,” Frederick said.
Boulder’s young team dropped to 1-7 on the season, but coach Susan Guegan saw something Saturday that filled her with pride.
“This was our best game, and they never gave up and played with that intensity I wanted to see the entire game,” Guegan said. “Player-for-player, Fairview has the better team, but our girls played solid. Our experience on the field is limited, but if you were to see the girls at the beginning of the season and where they are now, I think you’d be amazed.”
Of note, this was also the last time senior sisters Maddie (Fairview) and Mia Webb (Boulder) were able to face off against one another. One of Mia Webb’s putouts in center field came on a fly ball off the bat of her sister in the second inning.
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Fairview 10, Boulder 0
At Boulder HS
Fairview 012 313 — 10 13 0
Boulder 000 000 — 0 1 3
W — Sanko. L — McCarty.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ma. Webb 4-0-0-1, Laber 4-1-1-0, Slater 3-2-3-1, Sheridan 2-2-0-0, O’Connor 4-2-2-2, McCue 4-0-1-1, Perley 4-2-3-1, Sanko 4-1-3-2, Vlachos 3-0-0-0. Totals 32-10-13-8.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Mi. Webb 3-0-0-0, Burke 3-0-0-0, McCarty 2-0-0-0, Bohart 3-0-0-0, Bush 2-0-0-0, Furie 2-0-0-0, Arthur 1-0-0-0, Wright 2-0-1-0, Gomez 1-0-0-0. Totals 19-0-1-0.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sanko 3-0-0-0-2-4, McCue 3-1-0-0-1-0.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McCarty 5.2-13-10-5-0-3, Gomez 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.