Devils’ flame extinguished at state |

Devils’ flame extinguished at state

Shauna Farnell

AURORA – The Devils were on fire. They rolled over the Western Slope teams they played during their district tournament two weeks ago, but somehow, the girls on the Front Range softball teams at the Colorado State Tournament last weekend in Aurora just seemed somehow … bigger.The state tournament ended early for the Devils when they went down in their first game, 10-0.And even before Eagle Valley softball took the field to face No. 4-seeded Broomfield Friday, the Devils’ imaginations were already playing tricks on them.”Everybody seemed to be a lot bigger than us,” said Eagle Valley head coach Brad Stiles. “We had talked about it. I’m not sure how you get everybody to relax.”Eagle Valley entered the tournament as the 13th seed. While districts might have been another reason to worry, the Devils squared off to teams there that tthey had played throughout the season. At the state tournament, the new competition flattened the confidence the Devils’ had built throughout their season.Broomfield scored one run in the first inning, then two, three, three and a final in the sixth. They had 13 hits all together compared to Eagle Valley’s three. Emily LyBarger got on base with a bunt while Shannon Buhler and Morgan Strakbein each had singles. Caitlin Schmidt pitched the entire game but took a fast line drive in the ankle early on in the second inning. After smoking many of her Western Slope opponents with her fast balls this season, their force left Broomfield unfazed.”He speed wasn’t unusual to them,” Stiles said. “It was pretty standard.” Schmidt had three strikeouts all game. Although the Devils were sorely disappointed about the outcome of the tournament, Stiles said next season the team will benefit from the lesson.”They were all very nervous and it kind of showed,” he said. “We all wanted to do better. But there was no reason for anyone to hang their heads. We made it that far and hopefully the nerves don’t get to us quite as much next season.”Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 610, or Colorado

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