MEEKER I In her first year as head coach Kendal Bergman has taken Meeker Cowboy Softball to state.
“What an awesome experience for an awesome group of girls,” began Bergman, “I’m so proud of this team for their fight and never giving up throughout the entire season.”
On Friday the Cowboys headed to Greeley for regionals, hosted by University, and played Faith Christian first, knowing the winner would qualify for state.
After the Eagles put up two runs in the first inning, the Meeker Cowboys didn’t get rattled and stayed confident and patient in the batter’s box to get back those runs and a few more, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the first. The Cowboys didn’t stop there, they were able to tack on seven more runs to finish the game 15-2 in four innings.
“The entire lineup did an amazing job up to bat and had quality at bats and timely hitting to get a bunch of RBIs,” commented Bergman.
Kastyn Dembowski was the lead off hitter to get on base and steal a base to put herself into scoring position for Macy Ridgeway to bring her home. Demboowki’s hit was the start of the rally for the Cowboys. RBI hits by Brea Garcia, Vivian Brown, Dembowski, and MyKayla Wille to score much needed runs.
“MyKayla did such an awesome job at the plate to help lead her team to victory with a line drive double out to center field to score two runs,” said Bergman. “It was one of the best hits I’ve seen from her and at such perfect timing, she was even behind in the count and fought hard for that hit!”
Vivian Brown had two solid hits, each scoring runs.
“The entire lineup did their job and made it such a fun game,” commented Bergman.
The batting helped give more confidence to pitcher Hailey Knowles. After the Eagles scored two runs in the first inning, Knowles flipped the switch and didn’t allow another run the rest of the game.
“She pitched such a great game and went at each batter and her defense stepped up to get outs with three up and three down innings in the second and third innings,” said Bergman. “Knowles got stronger throughout the game and gave it her all, so impressive from her and so proud of her.”
The win against Faith Christian punched the Cowboy ticket to state but they had another game to play before thinking about next weekend. The host team, University, and Meeker faced off for the regional championship. University had a solid pitcher with high velocity that the Cowboys struggled with throughout the game. The lineup was not as productive with the speed but it is coach Bergman’s plan to work on that this week at practice and be more prepared for state, where they’ll see more of that speed.
Garcia and Knowles both pitched in the second game and “they pitched well but University made solid contact and came away with the win in the end,” said Bergman. Final score was 10-0.
This week the Cowboys will focus on a few more defense techniques this weekend to feel more confident out there this upcoming weekend.
“A little cleaner defense and more confidence in the batter’s box with a better pitcher will help keep us in those close games and competing with the better teams,” wrapped up Bergman. “I’m still so proud of these girls and I can’t wait to see them perform at state! They’ve worked so hard for this and we’re not done yet!”
Brackets were released midday Monday and the Cowboys drew Sterling at 10 a.m. for their opening game of the tournament. The state tournament for softball is one and done, so the Cowboys must win to stay in.
Updates on the tournament will be posted on the Herald Times Facebook page.
By Tiffany Jehorek | Special to the Herald Times