Softball: Erie stays perfect with win over Mead

The Tigers beat the Mavericks for the second time this fall

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Ashlee Lovett makes a diving stop at short-stop for an out at first base during a game against Mead on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    BOULDER, CO - SEPT. 12, 2019: Mead High School's Erin Hanafin makes a catch in the infield during a game against Erie on Thursday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Megan Loveland throws a pitch during a game against Mead on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Hailee Ruble throws the ball into the infield during a game against Erie on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Tayler Brown makes a catch at second base during a game against Erie on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Jaiselyn Hernandez makes a catch at second base during a game against Mead on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Emily Sauvageau makes an out at first base during a game against Erie on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Hailey Fraser gets a lead at third base during a game against Mead on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Ashlee Lovett is congratulated by teammates on an outstanding play for an out during a game against Mead on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Erin Hanafin makes a throw to first base for an out during a game against Erie on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Erie High School's Ashlee Lovett makes a throw to first base for an out during a game against Mead on Thursday in Longmont.

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    Mead High School's Joslynn Veltien throws a pitch during a game against Erie on Thursday in Longmont.

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MEAD — Erie shortstop Ashlee Lovett showed her incredible range at Mead’s softball field Thursday afternoon when she tracked down a liner that had ricocheted off pitcher Megan Loveland’s glove and quickly threw out the runner.

It dazzled the crowd, thrilled her teammates.

“When one person makes a play, it makes us all so energized,” said Loveland, whose team remained undefeated after three weeks into the fall season, beating the Mavericks 13-0 in four innings. “Once one good play happens, multiple good plays continue to happen because everybody gets so amped up.”

Erie High School's Ashlee Lovett is ...
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer
Erie High School’s Ashlee Lovett is congratulated by teammates on an outstanding play for an out during a game against Mead on Thursday in Longmont.

The senior pitcher and a defense that continued to add highlights after Lovett’s sparkling play surrendered just one hit for the Tigers. The bats then went off for nine runs in the fourth inning in what turned into their sixth win of the year by 10 or more runs.

“That has been kind of our motto all season to do whatever it takes to back up our pitcher,” Erie coach Vanessa Smith said. “It’s kind of coming together right about now. It’s fun to see. Fun to watch.”

Here’s what backup looked like Thursday: Mead’s Delaney Wilson ripped a shot off Loveland’s glove in the second inning, but Lovett stuck her cleats into the infield and swiftly backpedaled for a clean scoop and throw to a stretching Kaylee Armstrong at first.

In the third, Jaiselyn Hernandez laid out for a grounder that seemed headed for a hole and then flipped it to Armstrong for the out. Later that inning, Madysun Vaughan saved at least a run when she leapt for grounder at third and then sprawled out to slap the bag for the force out to end the threat.

“We have each other’s backs,” Lovett said. “We all have confidence in each other and have that confidence in ourselves to help boost our team. Any time somebody makes a diving play or catch, that brings up the energy and we feed off that energy.”

The Tigers all but ended the game with a nine-run fourth that saw 14 batters, seven hits and four walks.

Jen Williams had a two-run double hit the warning track as part of the big inning and was 2-for-3 from the plate. Vaughan added a two-run single in the inning while Hernandez, Hailey Fraser and Emma Osborne each finished the afternoon with two hits.

Kat Sackett, hitting around .770 with 10 home runs per MaxPreps, finished 1-for-2 with a hit and a walk.

Erie (12-0, 5-0 4A Tri-Valley) came into the day ranked fifth in the 4A RPI standings and is third in this week’s CHSAANow.com rankings. Mead (4-4, 0-3) was 11th in RPI.

Earlier in the month, the two teams were involved in a slugfest, a game the Tigers led 8-1 after two innings and won 16-10.

Since then, the Mavericks’ bats had been clicking, scoring an average of eight runs over their past four games. But on a day defense shined for Erie, Taylor Brown was the only player to notch a hit.

Mead travels to Windsor Tuesday. Erie’s next schedule game is at Frederick Tuesday.