Stinging start

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By Dan Johnson

If you’re a glass half-full kind of person, than you can certainly find positives in the first two games of the Evergreen softball season.

While the Cougars have been hampered by injuries to several starters, it has allowed younger players an opportunity to gain valuable experience at the varsity level.

In particular, third baseman Sammy Keitlin looked sharp at the hot corner filling in for the injured Bailey Doctor. Against Highlands Ranch on Aug. 22, Keitlin made several putouts and also came up with a nice catch off a line drive.

The Cougars, though, had a difficult time making contact against Falcons’ pitcher Kaitlin York, who tossed five no-hit innings and allowed just two runs on three hits as Highlands Ranch cruised to an 11-2 cross-classification win at Evergreen High School.

York fanned 11 batters, including four of the first six she faced. Sarah Lafrinere broke up York’s no-hit bid in the bottom of the sixth inning, belting a two-out solo home run to left-center field.

The Cougars pushed across another run in the final inning on a double by Katie Cavanaugh, but it wasn’t nearly enough to catch the Falcons.

While Evergreen faced difficulty at the plate, Highlands Ranch had little trouble making contact against Evergreen pitchers Cavanaugh and Emmy Quinn.

Cavanaugh started the game and allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits in her four innings of work. She also struck out four batters. Quinn pitched the final three innings and gave up four runs on five hits with two strikeouts.

The Falcons did a majority of their damage with two outs, scoring five of their 11 runs after the first two batters had been retired. Tahnea Leeling and Leia Swierczewski each finished with three hits for Highlands Ranch.

Evergreen opened its season on Aug. 20 against Platte Canyon and suffered a 10-4 defeat to the 3A Huskies.

Platte Canyon scored six runs in the opening inning and Jessie Marshall pitched three shutout innings, striking out five Evergreen batters, in relief of starter Kyndall Voskamp.

Evergreen plays Chatfield on Aug. 26 at 3:30 p.m. at Chatfield Senior High School and Lewis-Palmer on Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. at Lewis-Palmer High School.