Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
AURORA — No team entered the Class 5A state tournament on a bigger high than the Broomfield Eagles.
Coach Paula Seifried’s team were winners of 12 of the last 13 games , won the uber competitive Front Range League and were coming off an impressive showing at the regional tournament.
Pomona didn’t care.
Third-seeded Broomfield was stunned by the Panthers 6-1 on Saturday afternoon in the first round and saw their season come to an unexpected close.
“We just didn’t play our kind of ball and they beat us,” Seifried said. “They did a good job.”
Pomona (17-6), the No. 14 seed — that went on to beat defending state champions Grandview in the quarterfinals — made Eagles starting pitcher Taylor Gilmore pay for some early control problems.
Gilmore walked the leadoff hitter, Cassie Sloan, who moved to second on a passed ball. After a Jessica Espinoza singles put runners on the corners, Lily Sale gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single. Espinoza would eventually come around to score on a ground out to short from Alex Medina.
The Broomfield bats that pounded out 21 runs and 30 hits in two games last week, never got going against the familiar arm of Pomona pitcher Lexie Kimminau. The Eagles had their way with the senior in the opening game of the season, touching her up for nine runs in an 11-0 win in August.
“It definitely wasn’t our hitting team that we’ve been used to all season,” Seifried said. “She did a good job pitching to us. We just have to tip our hats.”
The Pomona lead grew to 3-0 in the fifth inning, when the Panthers cashed in a leadoff double from Espinoza. Medina suicide squeeze bunt brought home the run.
Broomfield answered right back in the bottom half of the frame. Megan Biesterfeld led off with a single to centerfield and then came around to score on the first of two doubles from nine-hole hitter Hannah Shores, one of the two Eagles seniors.
Broomfield had a chance to cut into the lead a little more in the sixth. Last year’s BoCoPreps.com player of the year Linnie Malkin was on first after a one-out walk for Gilmore. Gilmore singled to left and Malkin tried to go to third after Sloan didn’t field the ball cleanly, but was thrown out on a close play.
“That’s always been motto that I’d rather lose aggressively than not aggressively,” Seifried said. “We can’t say ‘I wish I would’ve’, we just got beat.”
Pomona added insult to injury in the seventh inning. Kimminau belted a two-run home run to left that sealed the deal for the Panthers.
While the loss stings, Seifried knows that she has a team coming back in 2016 that not only has the talent to do great things, but now has that state tournament chip on their shoulder.
“The last two years, they were the underdog more and maybe they had a different mindset, like they had to prove themselves. This year they were the favorite and it was a new pressure, a different pressure,” she said. “Now we know what both pressures are, so hopefully we will do some stuff next year.
“The girls did great things this year. We were league champs, regional champs. They’ve worked hard and we can’t take any of that away, it just didn’t end the way we would have liked it to.”
Shores went 2-for-2 in her final prep game with two doubles and an RBI.
Pomona 6, Broomfield 1
At Aurora Sports Park
200 010 3 — 6 10 0
000 010 0 — 1 5 0
W — Lexie Kimminau (8-4). L — Taylor Gilmore (15-5).
Pomona hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cassie Sloan 3-1-1-0, Jessica Espinoza 4-3-3-0, Lily Sale 3-0-2-1, Gracie Cordova 4-1-1-1, Alex Medina 2-0-0-2, Lexie Kimminau 4-1-1-2, Rebekka Whithouse 2-0-2-0, Hannah McClure 2-0-0-0, Lexus Valencia 1-0-0-0, AB Ramirez 0-0-0-0, Nicole Sullivan 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-6-10-6. 2B — Espinoza 2. HR — Kimminau (one on in 7th).
Broomfield hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kendall Lockwood 3-0-0-0, Brennan Thomas 3-0-0-0, Linnie Malkin 2-0-0-0, Taylor Gilmore 3-0-1-0, Matti Morales 3-0-0-0, Megan Biesterfeld 2-1-1-0, Kenzi Jackson 2-0-1-0, Lauren Lynch 2-0-0-0, Avery Bohn 1-0-0-0, Hannah Shores 2-0-2-1, Cassidy Sutton 0-0-0-0. Totals 23-1-5-1. 2B — Shores 2. SB — Gilmore.
Pomona pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kimminau 7-5-1-1-3-2.
Broomfield pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Gilmore 7-10-6-6-3-1.