Gazette Preps: TCA sophomore nets 3rd straight hat trick

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Mesa Ridge took a huge step toward a playoff berth Tuesday, when the Grizzlies handled Discovery Canyon 13-5 on senior day.

Led by the Roberts girls, Ashley and Kayla, Pikes Peak No. 10 Mesa Ridge (9-6, 3-3) scored seven times in the second inning and six more in the fourth to blow the game open and cruise to fourth place in the 4A Mountains Conference standings with one game left.

Ashley Roberts pitched a complete game against the No. 9 Thunder (8-7, 3-3), going seven innings and giving up only four earned runs in her final home game at Mesa Ridge.

“I used my curveball a lot, it was my most successful pitch,” she said. “I changed up the speed on my pitches and it was easier to pitch once we got up a lot.”

Kayla Roberts (no relation) led the Grizzlies, going 2-for-4 with a bases-clearing double in the second inning that gave her team a 5-0 lead.

Nine players drove in at least one run for Mesa Ridge.

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“It’s really good for all of us to hit well, and we need to work as a team to get runs home and it worked out well for us today,” Kayla Roberts said.

The game was important in more ways than one, as the Grizzlies now sit in the driver’s seat to get fourth place in the conference and a decent state tournament seed.

“It was a big win for us, because our last two games are going to determine where we’re seeded,” Mesa Ridge coach Al Bustillos said. “If we can beat Cheyenne Mountain in our last game we will get a seed where we can hopefully handle a team.”

Conversely, Discovery Canyon now has a tough road to travel to make the playoffs, as it takes on conference leader Lewis-Palmer (13-2, 6-0) in the last game of the regular season.

“I told my team that in the end we have to beat the best anyways, so let’s go take care of L-P,” Thunder coach Tanya Ramsay said. “We came out flat today and it’s hard to come back against a good team when you get down by that much.”

Sammy Beam and Jessica Brklich each added two RBIs for Mesa Ridge, while Melissa Benkert led Discovery Canyon with a 2-for-3 performance and two RBIs.

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