CENTENNIAL | Eaglecrest softball coach Yvette Hendrian trusts anybody in her lineup and on her bench to come through in the clutch.
On Tuesday evening, it was junior Shayelyn Allen’s turn.
Hendrian had slugging shortstop Rachel Sabourin lay down a bunt to advance a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth inning of a non-league contest against visiting Dakota Ridge and Allen made the strategy pay off with a liner to the gap to give her team a 5-4 walk-off win.
Allen said it was the first game-winning hit she had at the high school level and it came with two outs and two on. She lashed a pitch into the gap in right center field that allowed senior Brandee Morris and pinch runner Isabelle Coffman to cross home plate, but Morris’ run ended the game as Eaglecrest improved to 3-0.
The winning rally started when Morris walked on four pitches, went to second when Sabourin — who hit double-digit home runs last season and leads the team with seven RBI — executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to get her to second and senior Kailey Wilson took an unintentional intentional walk.
Senior Hannah Jensen popped up for the second out of the inning before Allen came to the plate and ended it with her sixth RBI of the young season, to the delight of a boisterous Eaglecrest cheering section.
Senior Braelyne Crenshaw (3-0) earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief following starter Mackenzie Hochstetler, who allowed four runs — two earned — on seven hits in seven innings.
The Raptors — playing a back-to-back contest after an impressive 10-2 win over Legend on Monday — built a lead as large as 4-1 with Hochstetler on the mound, as Jensen and Wilson each knocked in a pair of runs.
Errors in the field allowed Dakota Ridge — a traditional state power that was winless in its first three games — to come back. The Eagles scored two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie it up.
Eaglecrest has two days off before it heads to the rugged Erie Tournament of Champions Sept. 1-2, where they will open against Oklahoma powerhouse Broken Arrow. The Raptors lost to Broken Arrow 29-11 at the same tournament in 2014, when the current group of seniors were freshmen.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel