Lions deny Holy Family state softball title

Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/22/22

AURORA – Lutheran pitcher Hailey Maestretti wanted to rely on some help from her team in the state 4A softball title game at Aurora Sports Pak Oct. 21.

She really didn’t need …

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Lions deny Holy Family state softball title

Posted

AURORA – Lutheran pitcher Hailey Maestretti wanted to rely on some help from her team in the state 4A softball title game at Aurora Sports Pak Oct. 21.

She really didn’t need any.

Maestretti threw a two-hitter at the defending champions, the Holy Family Tigers, as the Lions captured the state crown by a score of 3-0. Maestretti struck out 17 batters and allowed just five runners to reach base.

“It can be stressful. But I knew my team had my back,” she said. “I was pitching with confidence knowing they were behind me. It was an honor to play with these girls.”

The Lions got the only run they needed in the second inning. Malea Yoxsimer doubled, went to third on an error and scored on Aleksia Severson’s RBI single. LHS picked up two insurance runs in the sixth inning on a single by Faith Byler.

Holy Family’s two hits were back-to-back efforts in the fifth inning. Kaylee McDonald and starting pitcher Emmaline Humphreys had singles. But Maestretti was able to retire the next two batters without the ball leaving the infield.

“Obviously, their pitching is just lights out,” said HFHS coach Moira Nguyen. “They have some great hitters also. Maestretti threw a great game and kept us on her toes.”

Maestretti, who pitched her fourth game over the two-day tournament, said it was “nerve-wracking” to pitch in a game with so few runs.

“It is. I can’t have any mistakes in the middle,” she said. “I am very happy with my performance. I was just pitching with confidence that my team was right behind me. They had some good plays. My mentality was to pitch with confidence. I was tired.”

Holy Family and Lutheran played earlier in the season, and the Lions won that game 8-1. Given the rough start to the season, Nguyen was pleased.

“I’m extremely proud. From where we started at the beginning of the year to playing for this trophy was better than what we anticipated,” she said. “The girls worked their tails off in practice and in games. It just didn’t fall our way this time. It takes a lot of hard work. The girls put in the work at practice. They are mentally and physically prepared for any game.”

Nguyen said an adjustment in the batter’s box was part of the reason the Tigers turned their season around.

“On defense, we had some things to clean up. We had new players fill in some new positions they hadn’t played before,” Nguyen said. “We just had to tweak a few things. They did it with grace.”

Humphreys is a freshman. She lasted 5-plus innings in the state championship game and surrendered four hits. She struck out three.

“We just gelled as a team,” she said. “We got our mentality in the box better. Our pitching got better. Our defensive definitely got stronger. I’m pumped for next year. I’m excited.”

The Tigers opened up defense of their state softball title Oct. 21 by beating Palmer Ridge 12-0 in four innings. Jordan Peterson had two hits and drove in two runs. Danielle Duran had a double and scored two of Holy Family’s runs. Emilie Humphreys had a single that was good for two RBIs. Hannah Juencke had three RBIs on the strength of two base hits. Essynce Contreraz had two hits and drove in two runs.

Arroyo was the winning pitcher. She allowed three hits and struck out six.

The Tigers blanked Pueblo South 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Peterson had three hits and an RBI. Humphreys threw a two-hitter and struck out seven. Holy Family then downed Mead 8-2 in the semifinals.

Holy Family High School, Holy Family High School softball, state 4A softball tournament

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