Rifle’s 4A state softball playoff run ends in 15-3 loss to Wheat Ridge
Rifle High School’s long-shot bid to win a Class 4A state softball title ran head on into the long, hot bats of Wheat Ridge in a 15-3 first-round loss in Aurora Friday morning.
The Farmers, entering the 16-team tournament as the No. 4 seed, jumped on the No. 13 Bears early, taking a 7-0 lead in the second inning.
“They’re an excellent hitting team, and we knew that coming in,” Rifle coach Troy Phillips said after the loss. “A couple of home runs and line drive after line drive … that’s what it takes.”
Rifle got on the scoreboard with two outs in the top of the third when junior Abigail Bonuales’ two-run double brought home Kaylie Stark and Delaney Phillips. Senior Zoey Loya followed that with an RBI single to score Bonuales.
Down 7-3 at that point, the hopes quickly faded as Wheat Ridge tacked on another seven runs in the bottom half of that same inning.
“It was awesome just getting here, and this team has accomplished so much more than anyone could have imagined,” Phillips said of a team that followed in the footsteps of the best season in program history last year.
Rifle worked its way through the regionals last weekend to advance to the round of 16. The loss Friday marked the last game in a Bears uniform for seniors Phillips, Loya and Hannah Bodrogi.
“They were great senior leaders all year, not only on the field but always helping to pick up gear and most things seniors don’t do,” Phillips said. “They were a big part of the reason we had so much success this year.”
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