The final play exemplified Torie Bass's role on the Fountain-Fort Carson softball team.

This week's peak performer is Fountain-Ft. Carson's Torie Bass. (Video by Jerilee Bennett)

The ground ball rolled toward the junior shortstop, who picked it up. First, she checked the runner at third before she threw out the batter racing along the first-base line. Her teammates did the rest, eventually catching up to the cautious runner on her attempt to reach home from third.

The double play capped off F-FC's 7-5 win last week over Coronado, a team in the midst of a historic campaign. The Trojans believe the play wouldn't have happened without Bass.

The efforts earned her this week's Gazette Preps Peak Performer honor.

Last week, the right-handed Bass went 3 for 6 with two RBIs to help lead the Trojans (15-8) in wins over Pine Creek and Coronado. Her season stats feature a .592 batting average and a team-best six home runs as the leadoff hitter.

But her role isn't just defined by numbers.

"I think she has stepped into a really good leadership role," F-FC coach LouAnn Guiden said. "She's a leader by example but also a vocal leader. But stats-wise, she has really done well."

That said, the Trojans are having a standout season. After starting with three straight losses en route to a 4-6 record, F-FC has produced quite a turnaround. Their 11-2 mark to conclude the regular season propelled the Trojans to an historic level. They also earned redemption wins over Coronado and Rampart, two squads that topped F-FC earlier in season.

On Saturday, the No. 25 Trojans will face No. 8 Smoky Hill (20-3) in the Class 5A Region 2 tournament at Aurora Sports Complex. It's F-FC's first postseason berth since 2012, which was also the last time the Trojans boasted a winning record.

One tactic that the Trojans use to motivate each other involves a dry-erase board. They carry it around at every game. They write inspirational quotes and team goals on it, such as the number of wins required to capture a state title.

The board was around when they recently played the Coronado Cougars, whose 19 wins are the most in school history. F-FC lost to them earlier in the season, 21-11. But this was a different Trojans team.

They jumped to a 5-3 lead with a four-run third inning before holding on for the statement win.

They celebrated. Bass was glad she played a role.

"We always stay positive," she said. "We don't get mad at each other, and I think that's what makes us a good team."


Just the Facts

Torie Bass, Fountain-Fort Carson

Sport: Softball

Year: Junior

Position: Shortstop

Highlights: Bass went 3 for 6 with two RBIs to help lead the Trojans (15-8) in wins over Pine Creek and Coronado last week. She also initiated a double play that ended the game against Coronado.

Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter

Favorite pump-up song: Mala Fe's "La Vaca"

Favorite team: L.A. Dodgers

Favorite musician: Drake

Favorite school subject: Human anatomy

Favorite movie: "Love and Basketball"

Biggest inspiration: Her dad, Jason White


Other Top Performers

Cross country

Mason Norman, The Classical Academy

The senior won the Class 4A Colorado Springs Metro League boys' race in 16 minutes, 24.31 seconds last week. It was his first CSML title despite the fact that he has captured back-to-back state wins.

Lauren Boutelle, Pine Creek

The freshman clocked in a time of 20:26.51 to lead the Eagles to the CSML girls' title. TCA freshman Sawyer Wilson finished first in 20:00:6.

Boys' soccer

Jackson Isaacs, Pine Creek

The junior recorded a hat trick in the Eagles' 10-0 win over Palmer last week. He was the only one who scored multiple goals. So far this season, he leads Pine Creek (7-2) with eight goals.

Ben Beermann, Liberty

The senior had two goals and two assists in wins over Doherty and Pueblo Centennial, helping the Lancers to a 7-3-1 overall record. Against Pueblo Centennial, he led with a goal and two assists.


Peyton Brones, Colorado Springs Christian School

The senior rushed 11 times for 163 yards and four touchdowns in the Lions' 56-6 win over Buena Vista on Saturday. That was his fourth game this season in which he amassed over 100 rushing yards.

Kyle Gaster, Mesa Ridge

The senior quarterback rushed six times for two touchdowns and 104 yards, while throwing for another TD, in the Grizzlies' 48-13 win over Palmer on Friday.


Brina Baysinger, Air Academy

The sophomore produced a stellar outing Friday, striking out 12 batters and allowing just three hits in a complete outing to lead the Kadets to a 5-1 win over Liberty. She followed that up by throwing seven strikeouts in a 3-1 loss to Pueblo South.


Danielle Norman, Lewis-Palmer

The senior had 26 kills in helping lead the Rangers to victories over Air Academy and Vista Ridge last week. Her performances have been key to Lewis-Palmer's success. The Rangers own a five-match winning streak.

Editorial assistant

Chhun Sun is the editorial assistant of the four Pikes Peak Newspapers. A Thailand-born Cambodian-American, he joined The Gazette's staff in April 2015 — covering everything from public safety to sports and outdoors to local/state politics.