AURORA - Discovery Canyon (14-8) and Falcon (11-11) were eliminated in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at Aurora Sports Park on Friday.
Here's how their seasons ended:
A near win turns into heartbreak for Falcon
The Falcon bats awoke and rallied. Center fielder Maddie Mast made two extraordinary catches and Taylor Vanderwege appeared, at first glance, to come up with the big hit.
Everything looked set for the Falcons to advance to the second round. An unfavorable call and an untimely error served fatal, however, and No. 8 Falcon's season ended with a 10-inning, 17-10 loss to ninth-seed Pueblo West.
"We battled," Falcon coach Kerri Millikan said. "We knew we had to leave everything out on the field."
The Cinderella team that barely made regionals and then went on to win a Region 2 title as a 24 seed looked to still have some magic left.
The Falcons recovered from an 8-2 deficit and tied the game at 10 in the sixth. Their hopes stayed alive when Mast sprawled out to make a run-saving catch in the eighth and another remarkable catch to start the ninth.
Vanderwege then nearly won it.
Her shot down the third-base line in the next frame would have scored Mast from second to end the game, but the home plate umpire ruled it foul and she struck out to end the inning.
"I saw it hit the chalk," Mast said. "I went home and I was like 'that's game-win.'"
Instead the Cyclones scored seven runs following a two-out error in the 10th to move on.
Rare off-day ends season for Discovery Canyon
The Thunder came into the postseason rather confidently after winning the 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference and Region 4.
But No. 7 Discovery Canyon suffered from cold bats and uncharacteristic mistakes in an 8-2 loss to No. 10 Mountain View.
The Thunder had won seven of their last nine.
"We just didn't show up in Aurora today, unfortunately," Discovery Canyon coach Tanya Ramsay said.
Corah Price allowed eight runs (five earned) and three homers for the Thunder. She struck out nine and walked one.
Gabbi Rathmann led a mostly stagnant offense with two hits and an RBI.
Mountain View led 2-0 after the first inning, 4-0 in the second and 8-1 in the sixth.
"It's easy to get caught up in the moment," third baseman Maddie Dewey said. "But when you zoom out and look at where we started and what we've accomplished, I think we've had a successful season."