Regular Season Ends: 15-3

Morgan Koeltzow, News Editor

Reds advance to State after 18-3 mercy-rule win

After advancing in a win against Basalt, Fort Lupton was literally blown away by the Eaton Reds during Saturday’s regional playoffs on October 14. Wind gusts up to 40 miles-per-hour had both teams struggling to warm up after a twenty-minute break between the previous game. Basalt and Fort Lupton battled early on but Fort Lupton advanced by a margin of nine runs in a 14-5 victory.

Eaton then took the field and immediately stacked up five runs in the first inning. Two of those runs occurred when Remington Ross (20), who had five total stolen bases, stole home and Jenni Jarnagin (21) hit a sacrifice pop fly that allowed another run to score.

Catcher Autumn Schuler (21), who scored four runs, let a few balls go past, but the rest of the game was strong for both offense and a defense. Several more runs were scored throughout the game despite the severe wind. Allie Hobbs (19), hit a few strong balls past third but was robbed by the wind. Despite these conditions, the Reds were able to get an easy victory and secure a spot in the state tournament.

Key in the Reds’ offense this year is Hobbs, a hitting powerhouse. In her best season yet, Hobbs has hit eight home runs thus far and has the personal goal of breaking the record of 12 home runs in one season. She is currently among the top 20 for home runs in the entire state. With 28 RBIs, Hobbs is on pace to beat her own RBI record from last year as well. She credits her success this season to the work she put in during the offseason, where she attended camps and worked on her game constantly. “I don’t mind the work because I love the sport so much,” Hobbs said. “It is my world.”

Hobbs said she has a good feeling about the tournament, despite the team suffering a few losses previously in the season. “I think with the three losses we have had throughout the season, we have learned so much from each loss that it almost doesn’t feel like losing, but preparing for the state tournament instead,” Hobbs said. “We’ve conditioned and lifted since summer and it is amazing to see the work pay off with how we’re playing.”

Ross, another key player, is tenth in stolen bases and has only two errors to her name from early on in the season. Ross is 22nd in runs scored this year.

Head Coach Chad Shaw said he was proud of the way the girls have learned to push themselves in tough situations. “I think the girls are finally starting to believe in themselves in that they can fall behind, have a bad inning, have a bad at bat, and still be able to come back,” Shaw said. “It’s important to get the younger players this type of experience, and they scored runs just as well as the older girls did.”

As the tournament approaches, the Reds are attempting to break an old record: earning a spot in the Final Four for the third consecutive year in a row. The Reds have only made it to the Final Four two times in a row back in 1998 and 1999. In 2015, the Reds not only went to the Final Four, but they also went further than ever in program history, placing second at state and earning a banner for it in the main gym.