Softball: FLHS advances to state quarterfinals for first time

Steve Smith
Posted 10/23/21

P {margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;} Softball: FLHS advances to state quarterfinals for first time By Steve Smith ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com AURORA -- Fort Lupton’s softball team made history …

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Softball: FLHS advances to state quarterfinals for first time

Posted

AURORA -- Fort Lupton’s softball team made history at the state 3A tournament over the weekend.

The Bluedevils advanced to the quarterfinal round for the first time in school history. FLHS beat Strasburg 7-4 Oct. 21 at Aurora Sports Park.

There may have been another first in that game, too. Second baseman Reagan Mewbourn hit a home run to start the scoring in the first inning.

She hit it with her eyes closed “”a little bit.”

“Before I closed my eyes, it was down the middle,” she said. “No movement, nothing like that. It was a good tone-setter and proved we can do it. We just have to want to do it.”

Rylee Balcazar added a home run as well. Sammy Gonzales finished with three hits in four trips to the plate. Balcazar finished 2-for-3. Rozzie Mendoza was 3-for-4. 

Autumn Stone and Tara Gustafson had three hits for the Indians. Graecyn Graf had a base hit and an RBI.

Fort Lupton committed four errors, and Strasburg used two of those miscues to make things interesting in the seventh inning. The Indians scored once and loaded the bases before Fort Lupton could retire a batter. Relief pitcher Taylor Fells worked her way out of the jam by not letting the last three Indians’ batters get a ball out of the infield.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of good work, and they’ve been buying our philosophy,” FLHS coach Albert Vasquez said. “They are executing. In years past, errors would demoralize us mentally. That’s the difference with this team. They never skipped a beat. They moved past it. We’ve been working on the mental aspect.”

“Winning is always what you want to do. But if you come out and show that you earned your spot here and didn’t win, you proved to yourself that you can do it,” Mewbourn said.

“The best thing I saw (against Strasburg) was the hitting,” Vasquez said. “We’ve been working extensively on that. There isn’t a pitcher here we aren’t prepared for.”

Eaton spotted FLHS two runs, then rallied for a 6-2 win in the quarterfinal round. Mendoza had a base hit and Fort Lupton’s RBI. Fells had two of FLHS’ base hits. 

The Bluedevils finished the season with their second straight league title, their first regional title and a fifth appearance in the state meet. The Bluedevils finished with a record of 18-9.

“It was much needed and well-deserved. I don’t remember a softball team making it past the first round of state. We realized it’s just a game and that we have each others’ backs. We realized it’s win or go home,” Mewbourn said after the Strasburg win. “There was no getting down on somebody because they missed a ball or had a bad at-bat.”

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