For the fifth time in as many attempts this season, Discovery Canyon took care of business.
The Thunder had 14 hits, seven of which went for extra bases, to dispatch Cheyenne Mountain 15-4 on Monday at Discovery Canyon.
“That was a league game for us and we always say we want to take care of those league games — we call that taking care of business,” Discovery Canyon coach Tanya Ramsay said. “Our No. 1 goal is to win league and we have to take care of business during league games.”
In five games against 4A Pikes Peak League opponents, Discovery Canyon has scored 62 runs on 74 hits for a perfect 5-0 league record (13-3 overall). The team’s remaining league games are Air Academy on Wednesday and Sand Creek on Friday, teams that are sporting league marks of 1-4 and 0-5 respectively.
“These guys are a very, very good team,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Mike Simon, whose team fell to 3-2-1 in league play and 8-7-1 overall, said of Discovery Canyon. “They hit the ball well, they pitch well and when you play somebody like that, you really have to play flawless defense. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get that job done.”
The Indians had four errors and two passed balls. But more than that, Discovery Canyon’s speed and savvy on the bases caused problems. The Thunder stole three bases and took many more on missed cutoffs, rundowns and indecision.
“All of us, from one through nine, are all fast,” Discovery Canyon leadoff hitter Shelby Hetzell said. “If we get on, we’re dangerous that way.”
Hetzell went 4-for-4 with a double and triple. McKenzie Peters was 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. Taryn Arcarese also went deep, while Kaydee Valliere and Molly Turner each had two hits and two RBIs.
The Thunder’s two-run first inning was countered by Cheyenne Mountain, which got an RBI groundout by Hayley Cobb in the first and a solo homer by Keiya Fields in the second.
But Discovery Canyon’s pressure was unrelenting. Emily Selby’s two-run double highlighted a three-run third. Five hits and three Cheyenne Mountain errors led to a seven-run fourth.
The Indians rallied for two runs in the fifth. Clutch pitching by Kacee Schroeder kept the bases-loaded, no-out situation from being worse than it was.
“Kacee was mentally tough today and in situations like that, I think most of the time it’s the mental game that gets you through,” Ramsay said. “She had a mentally tough inning.”
Two of the four runs allowed by Schroeder (7-0) were earned. The senior also struck out seven.
Discovery Canyon responded decisively in the bottom of the inning as Arcarese led off with a solo homer and, three batters later, Peters launched a two-run blast that ended the game.
“I felt like we really pulled it together as a team,” Hetzel said. “It was a great win for our program.”