By Katie Essig
Berthoud’s softball seniors had a reason to celebrate Friday. After having their game postponed Thursday, the Lady Spartans celebrated Senior Night with an 11-1 victory over the Greeley West Wildcats a day late.
Seniors Lindsey Ludwig, Amy Ekart and Amy Krause all played well in their home finale.
The seniors’ success began in the bottom of the first inning with Ludwig collecting Berthoud’s first hit. A hit by Krause moved Ludwig to third, but Berthoud wasn’t able to score any runs. However, in the bottom of the third, the Spartans began to find some momentum.
With two on and her team down a run, Ekart smacked a homer to give Berthoud a 3-1 lead. Following Ekart’s homer, Ludwig scored junior Danielle Wikre with the Lady Spartans’ fourth run of the game.
Not stopping there, freshman Victoria Puchino added an RBI hit and a 5-1 Berthoud lead.
In the fourth, Ludwig hit a line drive double and later scored on a Ludwig hit. A walk by Ekart and Wikre single loaded the bases before Puchino and Morgan Thonhoff drove in runs for an 8-1 lead.
Berthoud added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to cap off the scoring. Megan McGinn, Ludwig and junior varsity call-up Lindsey Karlin produced the runs for Berthoud.
The Spartans enter Saturday’s 4A Region 1 tournament at Aurora Sports Park with a 13-6 record and the 17th seed in the 32-team state field. The Lady Spartans will play 16th-seeded Pueblo East (15-4) in Saturday’s first round. Top-seeded Wheat Ridge (16-1) and 32nd-seed Cheyenne Mountain 910-9) round out the four-team pool.
“I think we have a very good chance at success during the regional tournament,” Berthoud head coach Dick Klocek said. “Right now, I would confidently put us up against any softball team in the state. We had a very good season even with some losses in games we should have won.”
Even with the successful season, Klocek says the team still has things to work on to make winning the regionals possible.
“Before the regional tournament, we need to work on some defensive stuff. Our hitting skills need to be worked on a little before then,” Klocek said.
Region 1 softball tournament
Where: Aurora Sports Park
Schedule: Game 1: #1 Wheat Ridge (16-1) vs. #32 Cheyenne Mountain (10-9), 9 a.m.; Game 2: #16 Pueblo East (15-4) vs. #17 Berthoud (13-6), 9 a.m.; Game 3: First-round winners, 11 a.m.; Game 4: Loser’s bracket, 11 a.m.; Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 2 p.m. Game 3 and 5 winners advance to 4A state tournament finals Oct. 23-24 at Aurora Sports Park.
Tickets: $7 adults; $5 K-12 students and senior citizens