St. Vrain Valley update: Mead softball continues to pace Class 4A rankings

Notables on Skyline, Niwot, Erie sports

LONGMONT, CO - Sept. 3, 2020: ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
The Skyline Falcons are taking big strides in 2020 and find themselves winners of four straight games.

The Mead softball team’s 2020 season began with immense optimism on Aug.18 but what has transpired in the three weeks since, few outside of that dugout saw coming.

Not even that many inside the Mavericks dugout thought they’d be 7-0 midway through the fall campaign after beating the majority of the top 10. But that’s where they stand and the Mavericks are thrilled to be in their current position — at the top of the Class 4A poll after Monday’s latest release of the rankings.

Mead High School's Emily Sauvageau makes ...
Daily Camera file photo
Mead’s Emily Sauvageau, seen here in a 2019 game against Erie, has excelled at the plate with a .500 batting average through 20 at-bats.

“I’m not sure we thought that we’d be 7-0 to start the year, especially with the teams we’ve had to play, but we’ve had a lot of players step up in really important moments,” Mavericks junior first baseman Emily Sauvageau said. “We don’t just have a couple of girls going out there and killing it every day. Everyone is chipping in. We’re really doing it as a team and that’s been the best part.”

In their first seven games, the Mavericks have played a gauntlet of a schedule. They have beaten Elizabeth, Windsor (No. 9), defending champion Erie (No. 4), 2018 champion Holy Family (No. 3), 5A teams in Rocky Mountain and Poudre, and most recently sixth-ranked Silver Creek. With that resume to its credit, Mead softball is ranked No. 1 in Class 4A for the first time ever as of Aug. 31.

In the lineup, the Mavericks have nine hitters batting over .300. Sauvageau is leading the way with a slash line of .500/.607/.850/1.457 and seven RBIs. Katelyn Wiescamp, Veronica Elsis, who also leads the Mavericks with nine RBIs, and Allie Szablowski are all tied for the team lead with two home runs.

Senior Savanna Griebling has a team-leading four stolen bases and sophomore pitcher Joslynn Veltien, who led the Tri-Valley League in strikeouts last season, sports a 2.74 ERA with 52 strikeouts over 46 innings in the circle against some of the best teams in Colorado.

It would be easy to get carried away at this point but Sauvageau said the Mavericks are determined to ignore the hype and remain focused on their original goals.

“Our goal is still just to go as far as we can at state so that hasn’t changed,” Sauvageau said. “We’re really trying to make sure we stick to what’s working and not change our approach because that’s what’s led to the results we’ve been getting so far.”

After passing its early test, Mead is also currently No. 4 in the 4A RPI standings.

While the Mavericks aren’t buying into the hype, head coach Amanda Macaluso said their confidence is on the rise. Several of their wins have gone down to the final inning or even into extra frames, so the Mavericks know they have to keep their guard up through a NCAC schedule in which they will face Greeley West, Longmont, Skyline and Greeley Central, as well as Windsor, Erie, Holy Family and Silver Creek for a second time.

“I knew the potential was there, no doubt,” Macaluso said. “I live in the camp of teams are only as good as their chemistry. I think we’ve had enormous talent in years past but we couldn’t kind of get out of our own way. But the chemistry, cooperation and the linear goal of the postseason that this team has is unlike any other I’ve had. They’re doing a fantastic job of not buying into the hype and taking it one pitch, one out, one at-bat, one game at a time.”

Niwot tennis, cross country ready for the home stretch

The Niwot boys tennis team has posted a 7-1 record in duals so far in 2020 and with their only loss coming against 5A defending champion Regis Jesuit, the Cougars will certainly take that.

But for Niwot boys tennis, the real season starts when the regular season ends. And that’s coming up earlier than ever this unusual fall. With regionals just a couple weeks away and the Cougars hosting a tournament on their new courts at their school, head coach Miikka Keronen said they feel as ready as they’re going to get.

“It’s all kind of more risky now because there’s no back draws at regionals or state,” Keronen said. “It’s going to be interesting. But I think we’ve done everything we can, so we’ll see.”

Also with its eyes slowly turning towards the postseason, the Niwot cross country team is quickly ramping up its efforts.

Without their top runners competing, the Cougars girls won the team title at the Niwot Invitational on Saturday. Meanwhile, Niwot’s top runners were competing at the Battle Mountain Husky Invitational way up in Minturn.

Niwot claimed both the Husky Invitational girls and boys team titles. Freshman Mia Prok won the girls race with a time of 19 minutes, 15.10 seconds. Junior Zane Bergen won the boys race in 16:52.90.

Skyline softball has won four in a row

When you’re in a league as brutal as the NCAC is in softball this season, it’s best to start strong. So far, the Skyline Falcons have done just that.

With a 4-1 overall record, the Falcons have won their last four games against Centaurus, Greeley West, Greeley Central and Longmont.

Sophomore Clara McNally is leading the way at the play, batting .600 with one home run. Fellow sophomore Tiffani Mein has a .538 average with four doubles and a team-leading seven RBIs. Sophomore pitcher Alexandra Kennedy has a 3.59 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 27.1 innings in the circle.

Erie tennis gets its first win of the season

The Erie boys tennis team (1-5) got off to a slow start in the fall of 2020 but took a big step in the right direction this past week with a win over Frederick.

“I think it was a nice confidence boost that they were able to win,” Erie head coach Eric Farran said. “They’ve had opportunities in the past where they’ve had winnable matches but not been able to execute. It was good for them to see that they’re capable of putting together enough games to win a match.”

Boys golf regionals will be here soon

The boys golf season in 2020 has felt more like a sprint than a marathon. The first day of official competition was Aug. 6. Regional tournaments are set to begin on Sept. 21.