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Loveland denies Dakota Ridge 5A state softball title

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By Michael Hicks

AURORA – The Dakota Ridge Lady Eagles – the 5A Jeffco League and Region 8 champions, fell to fourth-seeded Loveland, 3-1, in the 5A state softball championship game on Oct. 20 at Aurora Sports Complex.
Addie Coldiron had a two-run double in the fourth and pitcher Cassidy Smith added an insurance run with a solo homer in the top of the seventh for Loveland (22-2), which upended top-seed and five-time defending state champion Legacy in the semifinals earlier in the day.
Dakota Ridge (22-3) took an early 1-0 lead in the third when Colorado State-bound the Kristyn Peters connected for a two-out single to drive in Kayla Fridgen, but the Lady Eagles couldn't push any others runs across on Smith despite stranding seven runners on base.
The Lady Eagles, playing in the state finals for the first time since 2002, were denied their first 5A crown since winning it in 2001 with a 4-2 victory over Arvada West.
For more coverage on the 5A state softball championship game, see next week's Columbine Courier.