Take note, softball hitters: Think small and big things could happen.
That was the case for Discovery Canyon senior Mary Roach, who simply wanted to hit the ball hard when she came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning against Vista Ridge on a cold and gloomy Wednesday afternoon.
But she got more than just that, hitting a two-run home run to center field to propel the Thunder to an eventual 7-2 home win in the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference finale.
It moved Discovery Canyon to 14-3-1 overall and 6-1 in the PPAC. Air Academy, which handed the Thunder their only league loss of the season, beat Falcon 10-0 win and lost 8-7 to Cheyenne Mountain in a doubleheader Wednesday to finish 6-1 in the PPAC for a share of the league title.
Meanwhile, Vista Ridge dropped to 12-7 overall and 5-2 in league play.
Of course, the Thunder didn't worry about things out of their control.
That taking-it-one-step-at-a-time approach was obvious during Roach's at-bat. The Thunder faced two outs but had the momentum, thanks to senior Corah Price singling in a run in the previous plate appearance. Roach just wanted to make something happen, especially after striking out, walking and popping out in her previous at-bats.
"I was just looking for a hard line drive," she said. "And I ended up hitting a hard line drive."
The homer put the Thunder ahead 7-2. Still, they played the rest of the game as if a comeback was inevitable.
Price and freshman Kayden Rodgers both drove in a run to open up the first inning before Vista Ridge answered back. In the top of the third, left-handed junior batter Alexis Silvey slammed a home run to right field to give the Wolves their first score and cut the deficit to 2-1.
Rodgers had another RBI in the bottom of the third. And once again, the Wolves had a response, this time coming from an RBI single by junior Kaityln Lord in the fourth.
The Thunder scored on a walk in the bottom of the fourth, advancing the lead to 4-2. Then, Discovery Canyon issued one final offensive outburst -- a three-run, two-out rally in the sixth.
"I thought Corah kept us in the game," Discovery Canyon coach Tanya Ramsay said about her senior pitcher, who had six strikeouts, including one in the fourth with the bases loaded. "But I think the kids endured throughout the game and we continued to fight as the game went on and got stronger."
For the Wolves, junior Chloe Ewing had five strikeouts before switching to fielding.
On Wednesday, Discovery Canyon honored Roach, Price, Amber Rees and Jessica Johnson on Senior Day as the latter two combined for four runs scored. The Thunder play at Pueblo Central in a nonconference game Friday before the postseason begins.
"It was a great team effort," Roach said, referring to Wednesday's win that extends the Thunder's streak to six games. "And I'm proud of my girls on how they played today."