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Dakota Ridge blanks Columbine

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By Dan Johnson

Last year, Columbine routed Dakota Ridge on the Eagles’ home turf.

This year, the Eagles returned the favor. Dakota Ridge jumped on its softball rival early and often on Oct. 6, scoring seven runs in the first two innings and they cruised home from there with a 12-0, five-inning victory. Despite the redemption, the Eagles wound up on the outside looking in at the Class 5A Regional playoffs, as the final at-large bid went to Chatfield. The Eagles finished the year with a 10-9 record. Rebecca Hart went the distance for the Eagles on the mound. She held Columbine to just three hits and struck out three batters. Offensively, Hart was even better, going a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and three runs scored. Lexie Chavez hit a pair of triples and drove in two runs, while catcher Ashley Behabetz was 3-for-3 with a two RBIs. Breanna Berens and Bam Mammenga each had two hits for the Eagles. Columbine, which struggled this season following the graduation of ace pitcher, Kelsey O’Brien, hurt its cause against the Eagles with six errors in the field. “It was a wake-up call for the girls this season,” Columbine coach Robin Ortiz said. “Kelsey was such a dominant player that I think it took the girls some time to adjust to the fact that she’s no longer here.” As mentioned, Chatfield found its way into the 5A regionals and will play Oct. 17 at the Aurora Sports Park. The Chargers, seeded 28th in the 32-team field, takes on No. 5 Eaglecrest at 9 a.m. The winner of that game faces either Cherokee Trail or Lincoln.