Wednesday's Gazette Preps roundup: Liberty hires baseball coach

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Liberty hires baseball coach

Austin Watson has been hired as the new baseball coach at Liberty.

Watson accepted the position Tuesday and it was announced by the school's athletic department via Twitter on Wednesday.

Watson, a 25-year-old teacher at Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy, was an assistant for Grand Junction's baseball team for a year before taking the same role with the Lancers last season.

He takes over for John Londo, who was 14-22 in two seasons with the Lancers. Londo stepped aside for personal reasons over the summer.

"We are excited with Austin's plans and the direction he wants to take the program," Liberty athletic director Michael Sibley said.

Watson played collegiate baseball at Lamar Community College and Ouachita Baptist University from 2010-14.

He brings a young and energetic mindset to a program that has had one winning season in the past five years. The Lancers were fifth in the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League in the spring and finished 4-13.

"(We want to) definitely change the atmosphere and culture," Watson said. "Just get that winning mentality in there."


Widefield Gladiator Invitational

At Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club: TCA sophomore Liam O'Halloran got a little redemption, winning the 12-team tournament at 5-over-par 77.

Last year at this invite, O'Halloran finished second by one stroke to Woodland Park's Sam Levy.

On Wednesday, O'Halloran shot 2-under par over his final nine holes to hold off Woodland Park's Shane Purkey, who took second at 79. The two were tied going into the final two holes before O'Halloran pulled away with a par and a birdie.

The Panthers, meanwhile, won the team title at 247. Pine Creek took second at 252.

Liberty's Austin Shelton and Pine Creek's Andrew Doyle finished third at 81.


Air Academy 13, Vista Ridge 3

At Vista Ridge: Karsen Romines had two hits and drove in four runs, and Air Academy (4-4, 1-0 5A/4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) opened league play with a convincing win over Vista Ridge (5-4, 0-1).

Cassidy Horn (2-1) allowed three runs - two earned - and struck out seven in seven innings for the Kadets. The senior also had three hits and two RBIs.

Air Academy scored six runs in the fourth, two in the sixth, and added five more in the seventh.

Arianna Russell drove in two runs and Midori Williams had three hits for the Wolves.

Chloe Ewing (2-2) took the loss, allowing eight runs - six earned - in 5 2/3 innings.

Cheyenne Mountain 11, Palmer Ridge 0, 5 innings

At Cheyenne Mountain: Freshman Katelynn Ralston threw a two-hitter and drove in two runs as the hot start to her high school career continued, and Cheyenne Mountain (5-1, 1-0 5A/4A PPAC) shut out Palmer Ridge (2-1, 0-1) to open league play.

Ralston struck out nine in five innings and lowered her ERA to 0.72 on the season.

At the plate, Ralston has RBIs in her last five games and has driven in multiple runs in four of her first six games in high school.

Hope Brazil, Meghan Lynch and Olivia Unger also had two RBIs for the Indians.

Carson Saabye had one of the Bears' two hits, extending her hitting streak to eight games dating back to last year.

Discovery Canyon 20, Sand Creek 0, 3 innings

At Discovery Canyon: Mary Roach had four hits, Jessica Johnson and Isabelle Murphy each drove in three runs, and Discovery Canyon (5-1-1, 1-0 5A/4A PPAC) beat Sand Creek (1-4, 0-1) in three innings.

Cora Ferguson added a triple and three hits for the Thunder, who had 19 hits and five walks in 35 plate appearances as a team.

The Scorpions have lost four straight since beating Sierra 23-4 in their opener on Aug. 22.

Valor Christian 18, Woodland Park 0, 4 innings

At Woodland Park: Freshman Gabby Cox had the lone hit for Woodland Park (0-9) in its loss to 4A defending champion Valor Christian (7-0).

On the mound, Cox allowed 16 runs - 15 earned - in two innings. She gave up three hits and walked 11.

Falcon 14, Lewis-Palmer 1, 5 innings

At Falcon: Falcon (2-3, 1-0 5A/4A PPAC) opened league play with a win over Lewis-Palmer (4-4, 0-1).

Hannah Carlson drove in the lone run for the Rangers.

Falcon 14, Lewis-Palmer 1, 5 innings

At Falcon: Taylor Striebel allowed one run in five innings and finished a home run-short of hitting for the cycle as Falcon (2-3, 1-0 5A/4A PPAC) opened league play with a win over Lewis-Palmer (4-4, 0-1).

Striebel drove in three runs and Taylor Vanderwege had two RBIs for the Falcons.

Hannah Carlson drove in the lone run for the Rangers.


Grandview 1, Liberty 0

At Liberty: Liberty couldn't back up a fine performance from its keeper, Christina Jensen, and the Lancers lost in shutout fashion,

Jensen stopped 11 shots against Grandview and now has 18 saves on 21 shots this season.

The Lancers, who haven't scored a goal since Sept. 29 of last year, finished with eight shots on goal.


Colorado Springs School 6, Harrison 1

At Harrison: Alec Young beat Dherek Garcia 6-1, 6-0 in No. 1 singles as CSS beat Harrison.

No. 2 Dean Taylor and No. 3 Hayden Hocate also won their singles matches in straight sets for the Kodiaks.


Palmer Ridge 3, Palmer 2

At Palmer: Summer Reflogal and Mac Russ each had 14 kills as Palmer Ridge (4-0) beat Palmer (1-1) 25-21, 22-25, 20-25, 25-15, 15-8.

Riley Simpson added 13 kills and Elaina Della Rosa had 22 digs for the Bears, who won their second straight match in a fifth set. Grace McIntosh had 39 assists.

The Bears face Coronado Saturday.

Kiowa 3, Peyton 0

At Peyton: Josie Lee had two kills and four aces as Peyton (0-8, 0-1 2A Black Forest) fell to Kiowa (1-0, 1-0) 25-13, 25-23, 25-19.

Taylor Starkie added two aces for the Panthers, who finished with only six aces and nine kills.


Valor Christian 1, Palmer Ridge 0, OT

At Valor: Dalton Georgopulos scored in overtime as Valor Christian (1-2) beat Palmer Ridge (1-2).

The Eagles outshot the Bears 9-3.