Discovery Canyon softball shuts out opponents to capture region title, spot at state

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When it comes to hits and runs, it’s not a matter of if those things will happen for the Discovery Canyon softball team.

It’s matter of when they’ll take place.

Once the Thunder began rolling, it was hard to stop them. And that was case in their 16-0 and 10-0 shutout victories over Montrose and Pueblo County, respectively, on Saturday to capture the Region 4 title and move on to the state tournament.

Discovery Canyon is a state qualifier for the sixth time since 2009.

“We’re looking good as we move forward,” Thunder senior outfielder Jessica Johnson said. “We’re staying strong. We’re really tight and close. We pick each other up, and that’s how we get through these games.”

In the regional title game against Pueblo County, tournament host Discovery Canyon (16-4-1) was up just 1-0 when the Thunder went on a five-run rally in the third inning, highlighted by a two-RBI home run from Kayden Rodgers. The Thunder scored another four runs in the fifth to end the game with the 10-run rule.

Johnson capped off the victory with an RBI single, and the Thunder celebrated another extended postseason.

“I knew things were going to start to happen and runs were going to start to come,” Discovery Canyon coach Tanya Ramsay said. “We’ve been preaching to the girls to hit the ball hard and good things will happen. When we started hitting the ball hard, the runs started coming.”

Amber Rees had a three-RBI triple, Hailey Neener went 2 for 2 with an RBI and Rodgers scored three runs. In the circle, Corah Price had seven strikeouts, including one to end the second inning with the bases loaded.

In the tournament opener, Sami Edwards started the onslaught with a solo homerun.

From there, it was hard to stop the Thunder as they relied on their bats and dominant pitching to shut out Montrose in four innings.

And it showed in the final stats, as Edwards led the way for Discovery Canyon by going 4 for 4 with two home runs. Her second one came in third inning that jumpstarted a six-run rally and put the Thunder ahead 13-0.

“Sami is a momentum player, and she’s just truly the definition of a softball player,” Ramsay said. “We love her as our leadoff. She gets the table set for us. Starting the game with a homerun is unbelievable.”

Rodgers was 4-for-4 with three RBIs and Alissa Madrigal went 3 for 4 with a double, while Price finished with four RBIs. Price also had a stellar performance in the circle, striking out 10 batters and allowing just one hit.

Discovery Canyon jumped out to a 4-0 lead over Montrose after the first inning, thanks in part to Edwards opening the game with a homer.

The Thunder kept rallying, scoring three runs in the second, six in the third and four in the fourth.

Notes

Pueblo County beat Berthoud 10-8 in the Region 4 runner-up game to improve to 15-7 overall.

It was the second time the Hornets beat Berthoud on Saturday. They topped the Spartans 7-2 in the tournament opener before falling to Discovery Canyon in the title game.