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Eagles soar past Chargers

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By Brian Forbes

No one wants to spend their Saturday morning being attacked.

As the aggressor, the Dakota Ridge Eagles loved every minute of it.

“They’re our rival, so we wanted this one a lot,” designated player Jazzy Marquez said Saturday after the Eagles hammered the error-prone Chatfield Chargers for an emotional 9-1 Class 5A Jefferson County League victory.

The visiting Eagles scored five runs in the top of the first inning on three hits and three errors. In a game featuring two young lineups, the Eagles were quickly brimming with confidence, while the Chargers were stewing in what would be a long morning of sloppy play and missed opportunities.

“Any time you let five runs score in the first inning, it’s tough to battle back from that,” Chatfield coach Sophia Rodriguez said.

The Eagles had nine runs, but just 4 RBIs. They put the ball in play and ran the bases hard, which was enough pressure to give the Chargers trouble.

“We didn’t stop,” Marquez said. “We didn’t stop.”

Marquez had three hits, right fielder Emily Hixon hit two doubles and first baseman Bre Berens laced an RBI triple to the wall in the third inning, as the Eagles led 8-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Becca Hart threw a complete game for the Eagles, scattering seven hits over seven innings and striking out five. She was backed up by solid defense, including a long throw from the outfield to nail a runner at home in the sixth inning.

Chatfield starting pitcher Lexi Love walked Berens and gave up a single to Marquez to start the game. Marquez’s shot to center field was mishandled, allowing Berens to score and sparking a long first inning where Love faced 10 batters.

Love, who gave up seven runs, gave way to Rebecka Mintz in the fourth. Alyssa Quintana threw a solid inning of relief in the seventh – the only inning the Chargers faced the minimum batters.

Kirbi McGinness, Carlie Sexton and Love had two hits apiece. Second baseman Stephanie Fiala drove in Chatfield’s only run with a single in the fourth.

“We did some good things toward the end; we had some kids battle throughout, but it was too little too late,” Rodriguez said.