on October 27, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Home run bounces Wheat Ridge from state softball tourney

Home run bounces Wheat Ridge from state softball tourney

AURORA –; Air Academy’s softball team took a page out of former Major League Baseball manager great Earl Weaver’s philosophy of winning Oct. 21 during the Class 4A state tournament.

“The key to winning … is pitching, fundamentals and three-run homers.” –; Earl Weaver

The No. 5 seed Kadets emphasized the three-run home run part of the classic quote in Air Academy’s state quarterfinal game against No. 4 Wheat Ridge at Aurora Sports Park. Trailing 5-4 in the top of the seventh inning and down to its final out, Air Academy senior Payton Romines blasted a three-run home run to dead centerfield to lift the Kadets (18-4 record) to a 7-5 victory.

“I wasn’t thinking,” Romines said of the eventual game-winning home run. “I was looking for a pitch and she threw it right down the middle. I just swung at it.”

Wheat Ridge senior Brandy Trengove took the loss in the circle for the Farmers (16-7), but she was able to keep Wheat Ridge in the game. Trengove came into pitch after Air Academy jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

The first four Kadets had hits off Wheat Ridge starter Brandy DeHerrera, including a two-run home run by Air Academy senior Julia Elbert. Wheat Ridge coach Jamie Heflin put in Trengove after Elbert’s blast.

“(Trengove) has been our go-to pitcher all year. She has done a heck of a job,” Heflin said. “It’s one pitch and one hit, it does make a difference.”

The win advanced Air Academy into the 4A semifinals where the Kadets lost to Erie in the state semifinals.

“She (Romines) is a gamer. I don’t know what else to say. She knew this could be her last game. I could see it in her eyes. She just came through for us,” Air Academy coach Chris Hernez said. “They didn’t give up. They have learned from previous experiences not to give up and not to get down.”

Wheat Ridge battled to take the lead with a four-run bottom of the third inning. Freshman Izzy Quezada started the rally with an RBI single. Senior Gabby Loya ripped a two-run single and senior Sarah Gray pushed across the fourth run in the inning with an RBI groundout.

“We put up a good fight,” Wheat Ridge four-year starter Aniesa Abeyta said. “I told them state isn’t going to be easy. Every team we play is going to be good. We fell short, but I know this team will be back next year.”

Abeyta was a key part to Wheat Ridge’s last 4A state championship team in 2013 as a freshman. The Farmers had at least made the 4A state semifinals since moving down from 5A in 2008 before Friday’s quarterfinal loss.

“We are losing six great seniors and they had a great career here at Wheat Ridge,” Heflin said. “You’ve got to feel a little sad for them.”

Abeyta was still positive about the direction of the Farmers’ legendary softball program despite the loss.

“We had it. All we needed was one out. We just couldn’t get that out,” said Abeyta, who went 2-for-3 from the plate in her final game as a Farmer. “It’s tough, but we are sticking together. We are family.”

Dennis Pleuss is a communication specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.

Golden Transcript – Latest Stories

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are disabled.