The Raptors Edge 14-and-under team made up primarily of Castle Rock players got off to a good start as they outscored Brighton 16-4 in their June 23 opening game at the Arvada Firecracker Girls Softball tournament.
“This is a first-year competitive team and this effort was a big win for us,” coach Ted Morrell said after the June 23 win. “These girls were recreational league players last year and it is a step up in competition level for them. The competitive game action moves quicker, the pitchers throw faster and the batters hit the ball harder. The girls are adjusting and I feel they are adapting well.”
He said the team plays about 16 to 18 regular-season games, plus they play in several tournaments, so they will probably play 25 to 30 games over the summer.
“This is a building year for us so some wins have escaped us,” the coach said. “I guess our record is just below about .500 so far this season. We are playing hard to get some game victories so we will have a winning record. Today was a great game for us. It was a great team effort and a big win for us.”
Morrell said the Raptors Edge players are from Castle Rock and Larkspur as well as a few from Monument. Most of the girls will be going into ninth grade in the fall and he feels all the girls are looking forward to playing high school sports and particularly to going out for the school softball in the fall.
The Raptors Edge team joined the competition at the June 23-25 tournament sponsored by the Arvada Girls Softball Association.
This year 92 teams in five age divisions took part in the tournament. Each age group’s entries were divided into four-team pools for round-robin play. Once pool play was completed, teams were seeded based on pool play records in single-elimination brackets to determine tournament champions.
The Raptors Edge players hit the ball hard and often in their first round of pool play against Brighton. The team scored a couple runs in the first inning and then went on to win the game, 16-4.
Rylan Thompson took the hill for her team and was on target with her pitches. When Brighton batters made contact with pitches, the Raptors Edge defenders made the plays to keep their opponents off the bases.
The coaches noted this is a first-year competitive team and every game is a learning experience for the players. While wins are nice, the coaches said focus of the season is to help the girls improve their softball skills, to play hard while they have fun playing the sport.
The Raptors Edge was 1-2 in pool play. The team was seeded in the single elimination bracket according to pool play record. The Castle Rock-based team won its first tournament game but their efforts to advance in the playoffs ended with a loss in the quarterfinals.
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