LOUISVILLE — It was the situation every ball player dreams of.
Legacy’s Haley Cordova stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded with her Colorado Stars team down by two runs in their last at-bat against the Olathe (Kansas) Rockets on Thursday afternoon.
After fouling off a good pitch on a 1-0 count, Cordova got fooled by Rockets pitcher Courtney Jackson and fouled out to the catcher to end the game.
“She came back and I don’t know what she threw, but it was a really good pitch,” said Cordova, whose team dropped to 1-2 in Pool N of 18U Louisville bracket of the 2015 Louisville Slugger Independence Day Tournament at the Louisville Sports Complex after a 6-4 defeat in the first of two games on Thursday.
“I just missed it.”
Cordova, who has been clutch for the Stars this summer hitting at a .385 clip while ranking third on the team in runs batted in, is flourishing for coach Rob deThouars’ team.
“She can hit the ball, that is for sure,” deThouars said.
And Cordova was just the person he wanted at the plate at the time.
“It was the perfect situation,” he said. “But I tell you what, she’s going to come back in another game and make us proud again.”
In the fourth inning, Cordova put the Stars up 4-2 with an RBI double to the left-center field gap that plated Brooke Anders.
Some will argue the big differences between the high school game and the club game, but for Cordova it’s a seamless transition and aspects of both come into play on both levels.
“Coach (Dawn) Gaffin is a great coach (at Legacy) and you learn a lot of competitive stuff and she is very good at pushing you to your limits,” said Cordova, who sports a 4.2 grade point average and would love nothing more than to play at Colorado Mines in 2016. “And it is great in situations like that, because she always has you in a pressure situation and she really just teaches you how to focus.”
And despite her limited role last season with the Lightning, Cordova knows that the little things add up and that Gaffin will do everything in her power to get her players seen and on to the next level.
“She really looks out for her players and she tries to help us any way she can,” Cordova said. “I know during our season, I wasn’t necessarily a starter, but even still she was talking to the Mines coach for me and I really appreciate everything she has done.”
And deThouars, who took over this version of the Stars from Pete Sprenkle and has been around the game for a long time too, knows and understands the quality of player he is going to get from a program like Legacy.
“That is a great program they have got there and Dawn Gaffin has done a great job with those kids out there,” said deThouars, whose daughter Kaylee just graduated from Mountain Range and will play next season at New Mexico. “She has set expectations and it is a lot of those expectations that she has set that have helped a lot of (competitive) coaches back on this side.”
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Olathe Rockets Gold 6, Colorado Stars 4
At Louisville Sports Complex
Olathe Rockets Gold 002 004 — 6 11 2
Colorado Stars 200 200 — 4 8 1
W — Courtney Jackson. L — Ally Hjort.
Olathe Rockets Gold hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Abby Weber 3-2-2-1, Sirena Salazar 3-1-1-2, Sydney Anderson 4-0-1-0, Shayna Byers 4-1-1-1, Carney Meade 2-0-0-0, Veronique Jackson 3-0-2-1, Darby Lewis 2-0-1-0, Courtney Jackson 1-0-0-0, Julia Keating 3-1-2-0, Ceceelya Burgess 2-1-1-0. Totals 27-6-11-5. 2B — Anderson, Salazar. SB — Weber, Byers, Anderson.
Colorado Stars hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kaylee deThouars 2-1-1-0, Sahara Hardin 2-0-0-0, Ashley Mickschl 3-1-2-2, Trinity Gallegos 3-1-1-0, Amanda Dickmeyer 3-0-1-0, Kristin Dohl 3-0-0-0, Brooke Anders 3-1-1-1, Haley Cordova 3-0-1-1, Ally Hjort 2-0-1-0, Katie Tourtillott 2-0-0-0. Totals 29-4-8-4. 2B — Hjort, Cordova. HR — Mickschl (one on in 1st). SB — Gallegos.
Olathe Rockets Gold pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Brynne Stockman 3+-4-3-3-1-1; Jackson 3-4-1-1-0-4.
Colorado Stars pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Mickschl 4-5-2-1-2-5; Hjort 2-6-4-4-0-1.