Jonathan Maness Sports Correspondent
THORNTON — The Riverdale Ravens softball team is flying out for the state tournament, and the Ravens are doing it with bluster.
Fourth-ranked Riverdale Ridge made it through the District’s Region 4 Class 4A Tournament on Oct. 15. The Ravens beat No. 29 Evergreen 14-4, then flew past No. 13 Burgdorf 10-0.
“I’m so proud of this team,” Ravens coach Ray Garza said. “They work so hard in the offseason, and I’m just blessed to be part of this group.”
Riverdale Ridge (22-3 overall) will have their work cut out for them next week at the Class 4A State Tournament with a series of tough top-to-bottom competitions.
Among the competition’s best are No. 1-ranked Lutheran, who beat Riverdale Ridge in a tough 1-0 loss earlier this year, and Holy Family, the team that knocked Riverdale out of the playoffs last season. .
“(Class) 4A has a lot of competition,” Garza said. ” It’s going to be hard. Any of the 16 teams can win, it’s entirely possible. We’ll just get out there and bring our “A” game.
The Ravens brought their game on Saturday. They got off to a slow start against Evergreen, allowing the Cougars to score three runs in the first inning. But Riverdale started to slip away in the third with a seven-run inning to go up 11-4. The Ravens sealed the win in the fifth with a pair of runs.
Sophomore Jazmyn Sandoval led the way with three hits and four RBIs. Zoie Linville and Madyson Ortiz also had a pair of RBIs and scored two runs. Neila Lucero also added a pair of points.
The Ravens kept the momentum going in their fight against Burgdorf and put the Spartans in a big hole early.
Aubree Davis and Ganessa Duran each hit a pair of three-run homers in the first inning, and Linville scored on a passed fly to give the Ravens a 7-0 advantage after the first.
With the big lead behind her, Riverdale’s outstanding sophomore pitcher Brynn Trujillo was cooking on the mound. She retired 12 batters in the contest and stopped 11 batters in a row. Only two Spartans secured the scoring position in the contest, but Trujillo and the Ravens’ strong defense left the runners stranded.
Junior Tegan Medina sealed the win with a solo shot in the fifth.
“The good start was very important. It gave us a big confidence boost and kept us going,” Davis said. “I have full confidence in our team, and we’re just going to play our game (next week).”
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