Mallorie Trichell and her senior classmates at Woodland Park waited a while to finally score a victory over longtime Metro League rival Widefield.
How long? No one really knows, but that didn't matter after Trichell tossed a complete-game six-hitter, and sisters Kelee and Morgan Suggs each slugged clutch triples as the Panthers took down the Gladiators 6-3 Tuesday at the Widefield Community Center.
"Over the last eight years, I think this is the first time we've beaten them," Panthers third-year coach Dale Huntington said. "I wasn't part of the program back then. We didn't hit real well today, but we sure got some clutch ones."
None bigger than the one produced by sophomore Morgan Suggs, whose two-out, bases-loaded triple into the gap in right-center in the third inning gave Woodland Park (7-3, 2-0 4A Colorado Springs Metro League) a 4-0 lead.
"When we get ahead, it helps us go," said Morgan, Kelee's younger sister. "That's what we needed for this game."
Kelee Suggs, one of five seniors, lined the game's second pitch inside the third-base line past Megan Shanks and all the way to the fence. She slid safely ahead of a wild throw from left fielder Samantha Lacy that allowed Kelee to quickly make it a 1-0 game.
"If we can get the first jump, it leads to more," Kelee said. "We're always at our best when we can get on other teams early and is always a reassurance when you're ahead. It's been four years that we've been trying to do this, then finally, our senior year, we finally do it."
Widefield (4-7-1, 2-1) sliced the deficit in half in the third inning. Shanks, a senior, had a green light on a 3-0 pitch and doubled to left and then scored ahead of Asia Burciago's bloop single to shallow center.
Woodland Park immediately answered, regaining its four-run lead with two unearned runs in the fourth. With one out and a runner on first, right fielder Rebecca Roulette hit an infield popup between the mound and home plate that fell between starting pitcher Makenna Johnson and catcher Alyson McAdoo.
Three batters later, Lexie Comer's two-out single to right-center plated two runs.
"We need to clean up the errors and the small things," Shanks said. "I thought we were going to be able to come back. One day, we're good, then the next day, we're off."
When Widefield center fielder Ashley Menini launched a solo home run to dead center in the fourth, the team and home fans sensed a comeback.
Trichell had other ideas, not allowing another base runner until her two-out error in the seventh when she bobbled a Zoey Stealey grounder. Trichell retired Kelsey Scurek on a ground ball to third to secure the victory.
"After the home run and when they were celebrating, my teammates calmed me down," Trichell said. "I could see it in their faces that they knew I could do it. I just knew I couldn't let them get any closer."