Once the rally started, it was hard to stop it.
Pine Creek's softball team proved this in an 11-1 home win Thursday over Fountain-Fort Carson in 5A Colorado Springs Metro League action. The Eagles scored all their runs in the final two innings, while Brooke Linden threw a five-strikeout, three-hit game backed by a strong defensive team effort.
"She pitched extremely well," Pine Creek coach Janelle Krohn said about Linden, who also finished with an RBI. "All we ask from our pitchers is to let the defense play and help her out, and she did tremendously. I'd say pitching and defense was huge. Holding this team, who's been scoring a lot lately, to just one run is really awesome."
The Eagles improved to 6-5 overall and 5-0 in the conference, while F-FC (6-1, 4-1) suffered its first loss this season. It was only the second time that the Trojans were limited to single-digit scoring.
Before Thursday, F-FC outscored teams 84-30, including a 9-5 win over defending league champion Liberty.
The Trojans were the first to score Thursday, thanks to an RBI double by sophomore Mackenzie Cordova in the top of the third inning.
Pine Creek responded with a two-run fourth inning to go ahead 2-1. Senior Camille Lucas started the rally with a double, followed by Sarah Gardner getting hit by a pitch, a bad throw to first base and clever base running.
In the fifth, the Eagles scored nine runs on seven hits. Junior pinch hitter Katie Spieth had a two-RBI double, sophomore Lourdes Martinez contributed with a three-RBI single and junior Kennedy Johnson singled in two runs to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
"It took probably a few more innings than we would have liked," Krohn said about her team's rally. "Our expectation is to come out early and to jump on them."
The Eagles said they didn't approach Thursday's game any differently than others - though both teams came in with undefeated league records.
"I think all of our teammates don't focus as much on pressure as we do on making good plays and doing whatever we can to score one run at a time and put one more run on the scoreboard," Linden said. "It's not about who we play but about how we play ourselves and we know that we're capable as a team to come back and win, and I think that was displayed, too."