BOULDER — Ragan Wickham wouldn’t take the credit for her pitching. As the Evergreen senior said, it’s not on her as much as it’s the defense that is backing her up. But, rest assured, the hard-throwing right-hander had just as much to do with the Lady Cougars’ success at the Boulder CreekSide Classic as the defense behind her did.
Wickham allowed just three runs over 19 innings, including two on five hits in the Aug. 31 finals. Three first-inning runs in the round-robin finals held up in Evergreen’s 3-2 victory over 5A Boulder.
“As seniors we really wanted that,” Wickham said of the championship finals. “We just worked really hard, and it worked out.”
Wickham — who threw a no-hitter and hit a grand slam against Scottsbluff, Neb., the day before, then followed it with an 8-1 win over Thornton — also contributed at the plate versus Boulder. She scored the second of three runs for the Lady Cougars (4-2) in the first inning, capped by back-to-back RBI singles from Jenna McGoldrick and Meagan Mansfield. Sarah Kay and Jessica Bellatti also scored for Evergreen.
The early run support proved to be beneficial, Wickham said.
“It really helped knowing that we had three ahead, because it takes a lot to get those three runs,” Wickham said.
Evergreen’s offense slowed after the first inning. The Lady Cougars managed just three hits off Boulder reliever Raina Galbiati, but the three-run cushion held up despite Boulder (6-3) pushing across a run in the fifth and seventh innings.
Wickham, who retired nine batters in a row at one point, finished with nine strikeouts.
“She knows how to move the ball around. That’s what we need,” Evergreen head coach Mike Pucherelli said.
EHS also got the bats rolling, at least early on, finishing with seven hits and some snazzy play in the field, particularly a pair of catches by right fielder Marinn Reyes.
Evergreen, up until it faced Boulder, hadn’t played a close game. But the Lady Cougars didn’t wilt under the pressure. They stayed calm and rode Wickham’s pitching to victory.
“It took us awhile to get going against Thornton,” said Pucherelli.
Evergreen had beaten Thornton 13-0 just a week earlier.
“We had to play our game. I think they expected to beat Thornton, but you have to go out and play. It took awhile, but they went out and did it. I can’t say enough about these guys.”
Contact Michael Hicks at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.