Summit High sweeps through softball festival
SILVERTHORNE – Going into its fifth and final game of the Blue River Softball Festival Saturday, Summit High School softball was 4-0 in the tournament and had been scored on twice.
Standing in the Tigers’ way of winning their home tournament was Platte Canyon, who had lost once, and the Huskies quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead.
But, Tigers head coach Shelly Koehler knew better than to get nervous. Soon, she discovered how balanced her team is.
In the third inning, the ninth batter, sophomore Ashley Peskar, knocked a one-out triple to right field and scored on an Amy Clark bunt single. Then, in the fourth and final inning (due to tournament time limits), sixth hitter Mackenzie Voorhees led off with a single. As the clock ticked, sophomore Cissy Daniels singled and senior Brittany Warner followed with another hit, driving in Voorhees for the game-winner.
Voorhees went 2-for-2 on the game with a double.
“It was our last game and we were tired,” said Voorhees, who’s clutch bases-loaded single against Rifle earlier in the day helped the Tigers win. “But we knew what we needed to do.”
In the game before Summit’s finale – played like a championship – Rifle took its one loss against Eagle Valley. When the Devils rallied in the last inning to win, suddenly, the runs-allowed tiebreaker for teams with one loss was negated. Suddenly, if Summit loses, it loses the tournament.
But when the Tigers rallied to win, the tiebreaker wasn’t needed at all.
“We’re a real young team,” Huskies coach Dan Carpenter said. “We’ve only got two seniors. Hats off to Summit, though. They played well all weekend.”
Earlier, Summit beat Aspen 6-1 a day after beating Eagle Valley and St. Mary’s Academy. Daniels’ two-run triple, added to Peskar’s two singles boosted the Tigers over the Skiers.
Daniels has stepped in as catcher, while junior Shannon Buhler lets her broken thumb heal.
“It’s different at catcher,” said Daniels, who started Summit’s first game at shortstop. “It’s been a team effort so far. That first game at catcher, the team carried me. But, I’m doing better.”
In the 5-0 win over Rifle, Warner led the Tigers with two RBIs and made a spectacular catch.
Koehler left the tournament all smiles.
“I really wasn’t focused on winning the tournament,” Koehler said. “I was focused on the ways to shift and create a balanced team. Fortunately, we found it early.”
The Tigers also have talent waiting on the bench.
Freshman Megan Doughty pitched the final inning in Friday’s win over St. Mary’s, and struck out two.
“Without them, my girls wouldn’t be playing as hard,” Koehler said. “We have a solid senior crew who have worked hard to be in the lineup.”
Summit travels to Jefferson Tuesday for a 4:30 p.m. start.
ETRA BASES: Buhler, playing shortstop, stymied a Platte Canyon rally in the third with a diving catch and a throw to first that doubled up the Huskies’ runner. … Junior Caitlin Schmidt allowed just three runs in the tournament, and won all five games. … Summit allowed 16 fewer runs than the next closest team.
Ryan Slabaugh can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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