What Materials Used to Make Big Barrel Bats

The sports world is one filled with action, excitement, and more than a few hot dogs! But there is another aspect to the “fun” side of sports and sporting events, and it dates back to before the game became a massive spectator sport. The need for proper equipment. Though decades past have been filled with “make-shift” equipment such as sticks for baseball bats and rolled up pieces of cloth for a baseball, there came a time in the baseball world where a real bat was required.

Traditionally, Pennsylvania and New York ash trees are used to make baseball bats. Ash is the preferred wood to use since it is incredibly strong but flexible, and light in weight when the bat is completed. But not just any ash tree can be used. When manufacturers are choosing the appropriate ash tree, they will look for dense clusters of trees where they are protected from the elements. This means the trees are forced to grow straight up and towards the sun and will allow for an easier carving of the bat.

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Non-traditionally (and a more common choice) is a big barrel composite bat. These particular baseball bats consist of a graphite and carbon material which are bonded together using resin. However, this blend has been banned from a select few leagues simply due to the fact they become warmer the more it’s used. Having noted that, a composite bat still offers improved performance due to its ability to increase the distance of the baseball being struck.

Next on the list of materials used is the Aluminum Big Barrel Bat. This is the one that gave wooden baseball bats a run for their money. This piece of equipment ensures a light swing that will drive the balls far into the outfield. The biggest advantage to choosing an aluminum bat is the “trampoline effect”, in other words, the light-weight material offers a slight curve around the ball when struck, and will the “trampoline” the ball forward. This then increases speed and distance and can make for quite a few home runs. Another upside to choosing an aluminum bat is it comes out already hot, or “broken in”, whereas a composite bat will need to be used for a few games before it reaches its full potential.

Last on the list of materials is alloy. This particular material is essentially aluminum mixed with a few other metals in order to create a slightly stronger product. Often, this is the bat material of choice simply because the mix of metals reduces the above mentioned trampoline effect. Though the effect is fantastic for the batter and their team, it’s more difficult to moderate once a player reaches a professional league.

Having said that, a great advantage to choosing an alloy bat (besides a moderated ‘trampoline effect’) is the durability they offer. They won’t retain heat in warmer climates, they need less if no time at all to “break in”, and are exponentially more durable than the aforementioned composite, aluminum or even ash bats. So, would like to find the best big barrel baseball bats? just visit hittersbats.com.

How to choose the best Bluetooth motorcycle helmet?

It is not easy to choose the best motorcycle helmet. It is therefore important to go about the matter carefully by choosing-bluetooth-motorcycle-helmetlooking at the most important attributes that you need your helmet to bear. Technological advancements globally have promoted ease of communication, fast and easy storage of files as well as the sharing of content such as pictures.

Developers have made tremendous steps in coming up with gadgets and software to enhance communication. However, over using the technology is not advisable. A lot of people text or even make calls when riding a motorbike and that is dangerous because it distracts them and that may result into an accident. You hands must be kept holding the handle bars as you ride. It is important to choose the best Bluetooth motorcycle helmets for the best experience but what are the factors to consider?

An ideal helmet should be well fitted with a Bluetooth intercom plus a built in FM tuner that puts the rider in a position to enjoy the radio station of he/she likes. Don’t rush through making your choice of the blue tooth helmet. It is important to take your time.

Ensure the headset you pick is designed in such a way that it fits well on a modular motorcycle helmet and full face helmet .The reason behind this is that it facilitates a two way communication between the two people enjoying the ride. Having a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet in a good working condition helps you do away with the need to reach into your pants or jacket in an effort to make calls or pick them.

Everyone wishes to get real value for their money. Getting real value for money in this case can be observed from numerous perspectives. A blue tooth motorcycle helmet with sufficient sound level and also fitted with an integrated audio booster spells it out clearly that you are paying for value.

As a matter of fact you do not wish to settle for something that can easily be destroyed by water. Get a water resistant blue tooth helmet and also remember to ensure that it is the kind that protects your ears from the advanced noise.

Sometimes you may be caught up in an emergency and you need to make clear and quick communication. A helmet fitted with a device that enables the speed dialing function is quite helpful at such and definitely, the various functions consume charge in a great way.

It is therefore important settling for the one whose charge lasts up to 7 hours of talk time and 6 days in terms of the standby time. Its firmware also needs to be upgradable. An ideal service provider is the one that provides you with a warranty as well. Pick on buying from the one that gives you at least a two year warranty. Lack of proper information is what many at times lead to the making of bad choices.

It is important that you acquaint yourself with important information to help you pick the best motorcycle helmets. The discussion above has covered the various attributes you need to look out for in purchasing the best bluetooth motorcycle helmet, also best modular helmet and full face helmet.

Why Use BBCOR Baseball Bats In Baseball?

using-bbcor-baseball-batUsing BBCOR baseball bats may mark the difference between commendable performance and a bad one. When gaming gets stressful-namely, causes friends to start loosing confidence in you and your self-esteem gets compromised-it is high time to take proactive measures needed to win your games and have more fun.

BBCOR is the initial for Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. This is the new model of bat regulation testing which also operates on the principle of measuring up all non-wood bats to see to it that they closely simulate the wood bats.. Don’t be left behind in tapping into the numerous pleasant advantages that come with using the BBCOR baseball bats in your gaming activities.

One noticeable difference with the BBCOR test lies in the fact that it has the ability to measure the ball exit speeds after the bats have been broken in. That is the main reason as to why the ABI (Accelerated Break-In Test) works in unison with BBCOR. The ABI test usually comes handy when it comes to those bats that simulate heavy use. The more the composite bats get used, the better their performance becomes. It might interest you to learn that ABI can make it possible for all bats to perform similar to wood bats even in those cases of heavy usage.

BBCOR baseball bats are generally about upholding the player safety at the forefront and it is up to you as a player and the coaches to see to it that the integrity of the game is upheld. A lot has been going on in the baseball gaming landscape and some people are finding themselves lost in the ever changing intricacies associated with the gaming and the regulations as well. It is not advisable to have yourself left behind in the dynamics of baseball gaming. Long gone are the days when the aluminum bat ‘ping’ was the order of the day and it is crucial to open your eyes to see and take advantage of the power-laden bats-BBCOR baseball bats.

Most of the well-established players that have been using the BBCOR baseball bats for a while now are attesting to the fact that the bats are bringing back the game to the way it was originally tailored to play. Let’s get the facts straight. The BBCOR baseball bats are about emphasizing on defense and pitching as well.

Furthermore, it is about executing the little plays of gaming contrary to the way some people move about it-staying put for the three run homer. BBCOR bat rules adjustments is the way forward to fun play and progress in baseball gaming success.

It is important to take advantage of the BBCOR bats as a player that looks forward to great gaming success. It is important in the sense that it helps you become an accomplished and successful player because of its associated attributes. Beside the most bbcor bats are the big barrel bats so you feel good taking home wins after every game.

Using ineffective bats in the field has affected the overall performance of a lot of players because it holds them back from controlling the ball appropriately. When you choose the best BBCOR baseball bats certified, you go against all those factors that pull you back from attaining success when using the inappropriate bats. Success becomes guaranteed for you.

The Best Womens Rear Entry Snowboard Bindings – Top 4 Recommended

You might have wondered how women head to snowboarding in winter with no difficulty. Snowboarding is a breathtaking winter sport, played in the United States of America, where snowboard gear kick starts the riders with snowboarding.

Specialized gears and accessories are designed for this sport, in which men and women share different accessories separately. Over the period of time, the popularity of this sport has bestowed a new style statement to its accessories and gears. As a result, the best womens rear entry snowboard bindings are lately much in vogue among women.

womens-rear-entry-snowboard-bindings

In snowboarding, the snowboard binding is the one who plays the most integral role in riding and moving the riders from one direction to another, maintaining their body steadiness. The sport is simply exhilarating to play, in which the riders can descend from a higher snow capped slopes to a lower slope riding through the snow fields, while standing on the snowboard attached to the rider’s feet with snowboard bindings.
Usefulness of Snowboard Bindings

The best thing is that women can adapt various snowboarding styles on the mountain using the snowboard bindings. You can jump, spin and can even try out exciting aerial moves with high flexibility and ease. No matter whether you are riding for the first time or trying to explore new riding tricks, the women rear entry snowboard bindings will certainly boost up your vitality and take you ahead to the next level of snowboarding.

While snowboarding, the bindings are connected with the snowboard that helps in transferring the muscle strength to the board. The more perfect snowboard bindings you use, the more comfortable and joyous your riding experience will be.

So, now if this exciting sport won over your heart and mind, then a quick review on the best women’s rear entry snowboard bindings will impart adequate knowledge about the product, which may interest you to attempt this sport.

Lately, the sports stores are catering a plenty of snowboard bindings to choose from. But,going online to buy snowboard bindings is what I in my opinion prefer to recommend.

Buying products online will save you a certain amount of money as well as you can end up choosing your best gears from the pool of accessories. So, a better review on the top four women’s rear entry snowboard bindings would do the best and prove valuable for your purpose.

Top 4 Best Women’s Rear Entry Snowboard Bindings

GNU B-Free Snowboard Bindings Womens

The GNU B-Free Snowboard Bindings Womens is just the comfortable and relaxing snowboarding bindings you could ever get. You can perform better riding with this snowboard binding, as it has quick straps that bind your feet with the snowboard strongly.

It is designed with cool middle ground flex that comforts all riders and is super adjustable where you can conveniently dial out the bindings, making the best fit possible. Further, with its fit-toe response and tip-trail response, you can avoid contact with board often and feel a comfortable underfoot. In addition to this, you can cherish a classy look with its other features like Ft-5 Highback, Ft-2 Baseplate, Comprex Ankle Strap, thin fit-toe strap and EVA foam footbed.

Burton Escapade Snowboard Bindings Natural White Womens

If you are high on fashion, the Burton Escapade Snowboard Bindings Natural White Womens is the ultimate one you can purchase. Apart from being highly fashionable, comfy and speedy, this snowboard binding has stiff flex, but ensures high performance.

Its design is specifically made for women with true-fit design with dual component canted living hinge real mesh HI Back, dual component smooth glide buckles, new cored ultrastrap air and ultra capstrap, and baseplate made with 30% short-glass or nylon composite.

With its enormous features and functions, this snowboard binding is made to complement any snowboard and further enables the rider to jump, spin and move freely.

Flow Gem Snowboard Binding – Women’s

The Flow Gem Snowboard Binding – Women’s is yet another snowboard binding that prepares you for another breathtaking adventure on the snowfield. This is a performance driven product, which is comfortable and ensures high convenience while turning, skipping and making aerial moves.

It is sleek, trendy, yet durable that lasts long. With its reclining hiback and wider molded H-series rockered baseplate, you can overlook the presence of the snowboard underneath your feet. Full-EVA Toe&Heel-Inserts, 1 piece uniback ventilated hiback, 1 piece Exo-fit PowerStrap with LSR-Buckles and Combi –disk for 4X4 and 3HP mounting are included with its features.

Siren Mystic Women’s 2016 Snowboard Bindings

Finally, the very striking and relaxed snowboard binding for women is here. The Siren Mystic Women’s 2016 Snowboard Bindings is amazing in its trendy white and blue looks. It has a gel padded ankle and toe design strap that gives quick response and comfort while descending down from the slope. Its popularity also lies in its free rides which enable full 360 degree rotation and quick aerial movements. It is high on comfort as well with full EVA padded thick back.

Fitting women boot sizes ranging from 6-11, this snowboard binding is an ideal blend of fashion, comfort and convenience, where its baseplate is covered with super padded EVA foam that not only support you in your jumps and moves, but also ensure optimal comfort during the course of action. It is designed technically and emerged as a safe binding for women to ride on.

Conclusion

At the end of our talk, we can gladly conclude the best womens rear entry snowboard bindings are the matchless option when you head to snowboarding in winter. These snowboarding gears will go the furthest peak to make your snowboarding experience more exhilarating and unforgettable. So, speed up your enthusiasm and go to this site to get yourself a cool and best snowboard bindings to embark on an adventurous snowboarding this year.

What Is The Senior Softball Bat?

Do you want to buy a senior softball bat? Senior softball bats have different designs and sizes. Their barrels measure at least two and a quarter inches in diameter. When choosing the right senior softball bat to buy, you should keep in mind the following guidelines.

They Are:

1) Weight

senior-softball-bats-balance

Image: basesloadedsportsllc.com

Senior softball bats come in different weights. Heavy softball bats give you more hitting power but tend to have slower swing speeds as a result of their weight. You should choose a softball bat with a weight that you can handle well. For example, choose a lighter softball bat if you want faster swings or a heavier bat if you are a heavy hitter.

2) Barrel Length

Softball bats come in different lengths that vary from twelve to fourteen inches. You should look for a softball bat with a length that suits your playing needs. For example, choose longer lengths if you are a speed hitter and shorter ones if you happen to be a strong hitter. You should also test a bat with a few swings before buying. That helps you to have a feel of its power.

3) Material

Another factor to consider when buying bats is the manufacturing material. Typical materials are aluminum, composite, wood and alloy. You should keep in mind that composite bats are best for you although they break down quickly and are expensive.

When choosing wood bats, bamboo sticks are the best for you as they are robust and durable. You should also consider maple bats if you happen to be a big hitting batter. That’s because they are stiff and can withstand force.
Aluminum or alloy bats are best for you if you want a lightweight and durable bat. Alloy bats are made of carbon fiber that can sting your hands if not properly handled.

4) Approval

Softball leagues have their different certifications when it comes to softball bat standards. You should check with your league rules to ensure that your bat meets their standard requirements.

You should also be careful when buying used senior softball bats as they may be damaged. You can check your league association websites to find out about their bat rules.

5) One Piece and Two Piece Bats

Softball bats come in two different makes. One-piece bats are constructed using one piece of metal from the barrel to the handle. That enables you to have a powerful swing as there is little flex as you hit the ball. One-piece bats are ideal for you if you happen to be a powerful hitter.

The downside to them is that they give a lot of vibration as compared to the two-piece softball bats. Two piece bats, on the other hand, have their barrels and handles bonded together.

You will find them more flexible as they have a whip effect that enhances your bat speed. It’s ideal for you as a contact hitter.

6) Balanced and End Loaded Bats

Another point to consider is the overall stability of your bat. End loaded softball bats have slight imbalances as a result of their barrels that have extra weight. That enables you to have powerful and faster swing. However, you need to be patient when using this end loaded softball bats.

That’s because you need time to figure out your ideal swinging angle. Balanced bats, on the other hand, have their weights evenly distributed. They enable you to enjoy a smooth swing without having to put in a lot of strength. Your swinging angle is also easier as these bats have a balanced load. You can learn clearly about them at kandkadventures.com

Conclusion

Choosing the right senior softball bat should be easier if you follow the above guidelines. Your choice of senior softball bat material will also determine its price.

How to Determine Slowpitch and Fastpitch Softball Glove Size

Choosing the right glove is not as random as it may sound. It is just like choosing the right tool for the right job. An ideal glove to a player is one that fits both the players hands and best suites the players position.

The output quality of the task in hand depends on your ability to determine the right equipment. For comfort and convenience in using a glove, determining the glove that suits your need is the first item on the checklist. So, what goes into determining the right glove?

Fastpitch and Slowpitch gloves – What’s The Difference?

While the difference between a fastpitch and a slowpitch glove is small, this difference can be significant enough to someone who knows what they are looking for. A fast pitch softball player, example at college level, will need a glove significantly different from a minor league slowpitch player.

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Image: coachrynders.com

In a slowpitch game, a catcher’s mitt is not that necessary. An essential Utility Mitt will do just fine. The same does not apply to a fastpitch catcher. Pitches in fastpitch travel at 90mph on average so a catcher will need a catcher’s mitt and extra padding, just like those used by baseball players. Other factors include the player’s field position.

Shortstops and second basemen will need gloves with shallow pockets to allow them to get the ball out of the pocket faster while outfield players will need deeper pockets to make easier catches. The material used in making the gloves and the webbing applied will also determine what kind of pitching the glove is designed to catch.

Determining the Glove Size

A combination of two key factors will determine what a player needs. These are a player’s age and the field position. The size increases with age up until high school level when an adult will use the same size of glove as a high school student.

In knowing the size of glove, use a measuring tape and measure from the index pocket to the heel at the base of the glove. The following are the ideal glove sizes based on age and player position.

Fastpitch

An infield player under the age of 8 will wear a 9-inch to an 11-inch glove, while an outfield player will need a glove between 10.5 inches and 11.5 inches in size. For ages 9 to 13, an infield player will need a 10-inch to 11-inch glove while an outfield player will wear an 11 or 11.5-inch glove.

A high school student’s glove is ideal between 11.5 inches and 12.5 inches for an infield player and 12.5 inches to 13 inches for an outfield player.

Slowpitch

Slowpitch gloves are unspecified since not much detailing goes into the design for manufacture. An infield player will find a 12 inch or 13-inch ideal while an outfield player’s glove is between 12 and a half inches and 14 inches in size.

The allowance in size is to accommodate the smaller than or larger-than-normal players, but most manufacturers provide a measuring chart that details the right size of glove for both fastpitch and slowpitch players. The glove size gradually increases from the first base through to the third base players, pitches, and outfield players.

Finally

Choosing a glove that fits your hand not only makes playing fun, but it is also fundamental to prevent injury that may be brought about by wearing an undersized or oversized glove.

When shopping for a softball glove keep in mind you need to consider field position, level of play and the age of the player. These three factors should be a guidance to purchasing a glove that fits well and is designed for the position one plays. Remember the secret to success as a softball player lies in the ability to maintain control of the ball around the gloves.

Pomona 43, Bear Creek 25

ARVADA – There are two games high school coaches and players hate to lose – homecoming and the playoffs.

So when the Pomona Panthers beat the Bear Creek Bears, 34-26, at homecoming the Bears vowed revenge.

And what better way to take it than to end Pomona’s playoff hopes?

Such were the Bears gridiron hopes as they took to the field Friday night for a quarterfinal playoff game against the Panthers at the North Area Athletic Complex.

And things started well enough. But were this a Dickens novel, its title would be “A tale of two halves.” Or, perhaps, “A tale of one half and one quarter.”

The Bears owned the first half, seemingly doing everything right after a sluggish first-drive start. The defense seemed on track right from the start, led by a massive hit by senior Isaac Quintana that ended the Panthers’ drive at their own 43.

An excellent punt left the Bears backed up to their own 12-yard-line. Lukas Lockett got the call and carried out to the 18. Two plays later senior quarterback Zach Thenell hit senior Armani Brewington with a pass to the 34.

The Bear machine was humming.

Seven plays later Lockett would open the scoring when he burst over from the 5-yard-line. A missed point-after attempt gave the Bears a 6-0 lead.

That lead lasted just 16 seconds: On the ensuing kickoff Pomona junior Jamar Hebert fielded the ball at the two, made a quick juke at the 15, cut to his left and raced down the sideline for the touchdown. Dylan Carter’s extra point gave the Panthers a one point lead, 7-6.

Columbine vs. Lakewood game gallery. All photos courtesy George Kochaniec, Jr. Click to view.

Columbine vs. Lakewood game gallery. All photos courtesy George Kochaniec, Jr. Click to view.

Thenell and company took over at their own 20 with 2:49 left in the first. Two keeper calls opened the drive, with Thenell gaining 17 yards. Lockett got 24 on the next play. Six plays later the Bears found themselves with a second-and-10 at the Panthers 15. Thenell stood tall in the pocket and lofted a beautiful spiral that softly landed in the outstretched hands of Brewington. He took two steps and crossed the goal at the front pylon.

A try for two was unsuccessful and Bear Creak led 12-7.

Pomona’s fortunes weren’t any better on the next drive. Starting from their own 31, the Panthers moved 10 yards before things began to go awry. On first down, senior quarterback Nathan Grimes went to pass. Bear Creek Senior linebacker Vincent Delmonico was all over him, but couldn’t quite bring him down. As the two struggled and started to fall to the turf, Grimes tried to pass. The official flagged him for intentional grounding. That left the Panthers with a second-and-31. They got four yards on the next play, but were then hit with a delay penalty. On third-and-32 Grimes was sacked by seniors Jake Utley and Travis Barlock.

With 7:59 left in the half, the Bears set up at their 34. Lockett carried around right end for 12. Thenell kept for 13. Then Lockett got nine. On first-and-goal from the 12, Thenell executed a brilliant draw to Lockett, who easily scored. A trick PAT attempt, that was supposed to end with Thenell catching a pass on the right side, missed him by little more than a foot. The Bears led 18-7 with triple nickels showing on the clock.

The Panthers, it seemed, were their own first half enemies. On second down, Grimes had to leap high for a bad snap out of the shotgun. He came down with the ball, but it wasn’t very secure. He was hit by senior linebacker Cody Nolte. The ball came loose. Nolte thought he had it, but someone else grabbed it away.

“It slipped right out of my hands into his,” said Nolte, who identified Delmonico as the thief.

With first-and-10 from the 11, the Bears wasted no time in scoring. On second down, Lockett burst up the middle from seven yards out. Sophomore Nick Dalton was called on for the PAT and the Bears led 25-7, with more than four minutes left in the half.

A good runback on the kickoff set the Panthers up just 10 yards shy of midfield. Senior Tyler Pace, the workhorse of the Panthers offense, got the call three consecutive times. On the last one, from 20 yards out, he sliced through the Bears line like an ice-cutter in the Antarctic and bulled his way into the end zone. The PAT was good and the half ended with the Bears leading 25-14.

The best analogy to describe the third quarter, in which neither team scored, would be two heavyweight fighters in the middle of the ring flailing away at each other.

Bear Creek’s most promising drive of the quarter suffered a serious setback when Brewington seemingly caught a pass from Thenell for a long gain. The refs, however, flagged him as an ineligible receiver. Seems he had stepped out of bounds during his run and re-entered the field. According to coaches, the rules state a player can do that and still participate in the play, they just can’t be the first person to touch the ball.

Two plays into the fourth quarter the Bears punted and their demise began.

Pomona took possession at its own 15. Pace, ever the bulldozer, grinded out 13. After an incomplete pass, Grimes handed to Pace who slipped past the line, eluded the linebackers, cut to his left and got past the lone safety. With nothing but pay dirt ahead, the senior sprinted to the end zone. A pass from Grimes to Cody Morton for the two-point attempt was successful, and the Bears’ lead had been cut to three, 25-22.

In their next series, Thenell passed to the middle. But instead of a completion, Pomona’s Daijon Tyler was there for the pick. He drew a bead on the right sideline, skirted past a couple of Bear Creek linemen and zipped into the end zone.

Carter’s extra point put the Panthers up, 29-25. The Bears’ lead was gone, and, effectively, their playoff hopes.

But there was still 10:30 left to play.

On its next series, Bear Creek went three and out. A great punt set the Panthers up at their 23. Pace got the call on five of the drive’s seven plays. Clearly the Panthers were in clock-control mode. On third-and-5 from the Bears 23, junior Nick Allen cut to his left at the line, then back to the right and raced the final 20 yards for a touchdown.

With the temperature dropping, the wind picking up and just 6:05 left, the Bears were facing a daunting task, down 36-25.

On fourth-and-4 from the 44, Thenell made a valiant effort to get the first down, but Pomana junior Dustin Conley made an acrobatic catch to pick off Thenell’s pass. Five plays later, Grimes kept and scored from 32 yards out. The PAT made it 43-25 with just 2:38 to play.

Three plays into the Bears’ next possession, Thenell was intercepted for the final time of the night. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed the Panthers into Bears territory. Grimes took a knee and let the clock play out.

The Bears season ends at 6-6. The Panthers, at 11-1, advance to next week’s game against Fairview, 10-7 winners over Columbine.

Bear Creek soccer bests Coronado, moves to 2nd round

LAKEWOOD – Ask any coach or athlete and they’ll tell you a week long layoff can be the kiss of death when the playoffs roll around.

So with a two week layoff, one could well understand coach Mike Ackerman’s concern. When the Bear Creek Bears came out sluggish in their first-round state playoff game against the Coronado Cougars, Ackerman’s concern turned to real angst.

When Coronado’s Nathan Rubio, the team’s captain, scored with 8:05 left in the half, one might have thought Ackerman was on the verge of a massive coronary.

“We were pretty rusty in the first half, that’s for sure,” Ackerman said. “We didn’t come out with much intensity. We were sluggish, rusty with our touches. We weren’t controlling the ball like normal.”

One reason for the Bears sluggishness can be blamed on the weather. The Bears were originally supposed to play last week, but snow in the Denver area, and lack of a field due to other sports scheduling, left the Bears with a Monday, 3 p.m. start time at Trailblazer Stadium.

“After that first half, we came in at halftime and had a moment in the locker room like, ‘Hey, this is our season, we don’t want to put so much time and energy into the season and have it go to waste.’ It kind of clicked with the team in general.”

Ackerman’s halftime chat created a sense of urgency. “Individuals stepped up,” he said. “We kept the ball in the offensive side of the field, created a lot more opportunities to get goals. We limited their chances in the second half.”

The halftime chewing, er, chat, paid off. With just 47 seconds gone in the second half, senior forward Salman Bahurmoz made a fantastic play to get a goal. “It was a really nice goal off a volley and Salman hit it coming across his body,” Ackerman said. “Having a great goal like that one minute into the second half gave us more energy and helped us create other opportunities.”

Ackerman had hoped the Bears, now 15-1, could get a goal before halftime. The chances were there, Ackerman said, but the Bears just couldn’t convert. “We had a couple of opportunities to put it in and you could tell by guy’s body language in the locker room they were down a bit.”

At 15:14 senior forward Grant Keith scored to put the Bears up, 2-1. That would be all the scoring the Bears would need or would get.

Now, the tournament’s ninth seed gets to play the tournament’s eight seed, Rocky Mountain on the road in Fort Collins. Ackerman said Rocky Mountain plays in one of the better leagues in the state. “So we know they have a good team,” he said. “Other than that, we don’t know much about them.”

But even with the lack of knowledge, Ackerman has confidence in his troops.

“I definitely think we have a lot more confidence after today,” he said. “Last year we were the 20 seed in the playoffs and upset a No. 13 and No. 4 seed to go to the semis.”

The Bears will also be looking to their upperclassmen for leadership.

“Our guys from last year know we can go on the road and win,” Ackerman said. “Last year helps give us the confidence going on the road today.”

Green Mountain 1, Cherry Creek 2

AURORA – For a team built on batting, Green Mountain’s Ram softball team lost their bid in the state tournament Friday in a pitching duel during which the Rams could manage only two hits.

But Green Mountain’s ace – junior Emily Canaday – responded in kind, holding the Bruins only four hits while striking out nine and surrendering only two walks. Creek Pitcher Alyse Harris, a senior, also gave up four hits, walked two and posted 10 strikeouts.

A close game should have been expected, the Rams went 16-5 for the season; Cherry Creek posted a 16-7 record.

But a low-scoring squeaker wasn’t expected.

“Our bats didn’t come out right away,” said Ram coach Danny Dunn-Abrams. “We are an amazing hitting team and it didn’t show.”

Hitting was almost a no-show for the Bruins, as well. Canaday and some solid fielding by her teammates, kept Cherry Creek’s batters trundling back to the dugout.

Green Mountain shortstop Hannah Pearce was first to break the ice on a sunny but chilly morning, reaching first when the Cherry Creek’s shortstop overthrew first base, but could not advance.

But the Rams took a one-run lead in the bottom of the 5th when junior Taylor Rohlenberg reached first on a muffed pop-up, then advanced to third when Canaday’s slow roller to third was thrown to the fence near first base. After freshman outfielder Kayla Teschetter drew a walk to load the bases, Rohlenberg scored on Megan Brown’s scorcher up the middle.

Pictures from the state softball tournament. Click to view. Photos by George Kochaniec, Jr.
Pictures from the state softball tournament. Click to view. Photos by George Kochaniec, Jr.
But Canaday was tagged out at home after trying to stretch the lead and Pearce’s line drive was snared by the Bruin infield to end the inning, leaving Teschetter sand Brown on base.

Cherry Creek responded in the sixth, when lead-off hitter Taylor Gifford shot a grounder into short left field and she advanced to third when teammate Laura Leonard tried to beat out a bunt and the throw to first sailed high.

With runners at first and third, Canaday went to a full count before striking out sophomore Emily Davies. Then Bruins’ catcher Sami Spring launched a two-run double into center field, sending Gifford and Leonard across the plate. Canaday struck out the next two batters, but the damage was done and the Rams trailed by a run.

The Rams got a base runner to first in the last of the 6th inning when Demi Riecke’s line drive eluded the Bruins’ shortstop with two outs, but Riecke was stranded on first when Rohlenberg smashed another line drive, but straight into a glove at second base for the third out.

Cherry Creek seemed destined to widen the lead as the 7th inning began. Bruins’ outfielder Berit Eppard walked. Meagan Iritani was sent in to run for Eppard and reached second when the throw after Bruin outfielder Katie Armstrong ‘s bunt went awry. With runners at first and second with no outs, Cherry Creek’s Lauren Rinetti bunted, but was thrown out at first and Armstrong was tagged out at second. Iritani tried to steal third and was picked off for the third out, sending the game into the last half of the 7th with Green Mountain trailing 2-1.

That would be it for the Rams, though. A ground out by Canaday, a fly ball fielded in shallow right field by outfielder Tara Grout and a strike out by Teschetter ended the Rams’ season.

“You’re in a state (playoff) game, you have to be ready,” Dunn-Abrams said. “Unfortunately we took a back seat in this one.”

Lakewood Comeback vs. Columbine Falls Short

LAKEWOOD – Years from now, some historian or library patron or just some curious, rabid football fan will stumble across a recap of the first game of Friday’s double-header at JeffCo Stadium. They’ll note the Columbine Rebels brought in a 4-1 record and were ranked fourth in the state. They’ll see Lakewood was just 2-3 before the kickoff.

Perhaps they’ll glance at the final score – Columbine 41, Lakewood 29 – and think: “Losing by 12 points to one of the state’s top teams isn’t anything to be ashamed about.”

And they would be right. Except…

There’s always an exception. In this case, it’s the fact Lakewood could have won. Skeptics will look at the game and say, “They were down 21-0 before the first quarter ended. They were down 34-0 before they ever scored a point.” And they would be right on all counts.

But on the east sidelines, where the Columbine Rebels had set up camp, Coach Andy Lowry was concerned enough with the change in the game’s momentum, that with just over seven minutes to play, he sent his first team defense and offense back into the game.

Columbine vs. Lakewood game gallery. Click for more photos.
Columbine vs. Lakewood game gallery. Click for more photos.
“They’re a scrappy team. Tough kids, always have been. They gave us a good fight,” he said.

“I’m glad they put those guys back in – it was fun,” Lakewood coach Mark Robinson said. “And that was a class act by Andy Lowry to call the dogs off.”

Lakewood started well enough. The opening kickoff was caught in the end zone. Under Colorado prep rules, that’s an automatic touchback, so the Tigers started at the 20. Senior quarterback Joe Hemschoot, who would carry the load for most of the game, ran for 3-yards and then 6 more. On third-and-1 a fumbled snap left the Tigers with a fourth-and-2. They punted.

Columbine got to work at its own 45. Junior Gary Miller got the first call, a run up the middle for three. Facing a fourth-and-3 at the Tiger 49 the Rebels decided to go for it. Senior quarterback Danny Spond looked for and found senior Sean Neu for a 9-yard gain. Three plays later Spond rambled in from 16 yards out on an option keeper around the left side. Spond also served as the team’s kicker and booted the extra point.

Lakewood’s second drive of the contest moved forward three yards, from the 20. It then proceeded to move backward 10 as Hemschoot was sacked on second down and threw a pass for minus five on third. Facing a fourth-and-17 the Tigers punted – but only out to the 30.

Two incomplete passes and a 5-yard run by Miller and it looked as if the Tigers might get out of the jam by holding Columbine to a field goal. But on fourth-and-5 from the 25, Spond took the ball, jammed it up the middle, gave a second effort, then a third and maybe even a fourth. He kept his legs churning until he reached the 19-yard-line. First down Columbine. On the next play, Spond hit Neu for the remaining yardage needed for the score.

After three plays, Lakewood fumbled. The miscue gave the Rebels excellent field position at the Lakewood 38. Sophomore Cameron McDondie took the pitch around the left side and raced down the sideline to Lakewood 2. The Rebels gave him a chance to make up the final two yards on the next play. He bobbled the pitch but kept running. He regained control while the ball was still in the air, cut between two defenders and waltzed into the end zone. Spond’s PAT made it 21-0 with 1:56 left in the first.

Lakewood’s next drive was shaping up to be one that might get them back into the game. The kickoff return gave them good field position at the 35. The Tigers abandoned the running game and took to the air. Hemschoot hit junior Tim Zott for five, then senior Trey Battistic for 12. A 3-yarder to sophomore Robert Condon put the Tigers into Rebel territory for the first time at the 48. Hemschoot’s next pass came up short and was intercepted by senior Trey Torres at the Columbine 22.

The Rebels went on a methodical march down the field. Spond passed to Neu for 13. He hit McDondle for eight. He scrambled for two to get a fresh set of downs. And then, with a first-and-goal at the nine, he zig-zagged through the Tiger line and into the end zone. With 7:55 to play in the half Danny Spond booted the extra point to put the Columbine Rebels up 28-0.

“I really like that Spond kid, he’s really a great player,” Lakewood coach Robinson said.

Lakewood’s next drive pushed deep into Rebel territory. Hemschoot kept on the first play up the middle in a move that more resembled a rugby scrum than a football play. Somehow, when the pile stopped moving, Hemshoot and the Tigers found themselves 37 yards further down the field. The drive stalled at the 13, though. Facing a fourth down and what amounted to about a half yard for a first, Hemschoot shot up the middle. The Rebels were ready and stopped him cold.

With 52.9 seconds to go in the half, Columbine coach Andy Lowry decided to switch quarterbacks. Sophomore Justin Brown bobbled the snap. Senior Derek Aga pounced on it, and the Tigers were staring at the Rebel goal line with possession of the ball at the Rebel 10. Hemschoot’s first pass was off the mark. On second down he kept around the left end for the score. The point after sailed wide right and Lakewood trailed 34-6.

Things didn’t start much better in the second half. Lakewood kicked to Neu, who took the ball at the five. 14 seconds later he was handing the ball to the official in the end zone following a 95-yard kickoff return. The PAT gave Columbine a 41-6 lead.

The game’s next score didn’t come until 2:56 remained in the third. Facing a fourth-and-13 from the Lakewood 15 the Rebels decided to go for it. The pass fell incomplete and Lakewood started at its own 15 with six minutes left in the quarter. They went three and out, but the Tiger punt was touched by a Rebel and recovered by senior Casey Ophaug at the Lakewood 40. On fourth-and-1 at midfield, Hemschoot went up the middle for a 20-yard gain. Four plays later he jammed himself up the middle again and scored from five yards out. The PAT kick by junior Danny Giertz cut the deficit to 41-13.

Then the fun started.

On Columbine’s next series they got as far as the Lakewood 47. On fourth-and-10 they punted. Like mad men possessed Ophaug and sophomore Sam Powell broke through the line and blocked the kick. Battistic fell on it. Three plays later, with second-and-1 at the Rebel 23, Hemschoot scrambled through the secondary for a touchdown. A holding penalty negated the run, pushing Lakewood back to the 31. The next play was an incomplete pass. Hemschoot ran a keeper on the next play for a 21-yard gain. Two plays later he hit Battistic in the end zone. The Tigers went for two. Hemschoot passed to Ophaug and, with 10:42 to play, Lakewood found itself down 41-21.

It was Columbine’s turn to go out in just four plays. A defensive stand on fourth-and-1 with 8:32 to play gave Lakewood the ball on its own 46.

The Rebels, sensing a shift in momentum, put the first string defense back into the game.

A pass from Hemschoot to Ophaug and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Lakewood the ball at the Columbine 33. A 16-yard pass to Battistic set the Tigers up at the 14. But the drive stalled when, on fourth-and-6 from the 10, another Hemschoot pass fell incomplete.

The Rebels could manage to get only out to the 18 before having to punt. Lakewood took over at the 44. In five plays Hemschoot marched the Tigers down the field, scoring on a keeper from five yards out. Hemschoot ran in the try for two and the Tigers were now looking at a 41-29 deficit with 2:43 to play.

“I was really happy with our own QB in the second half. He hung in there and made some plays,” Robinson said.

“They get a turnover and another quick score and we could be in trouble,” one Columbine coach said almost as if talking to himself.

But the Rebels were able to run out the clock following the failed onsides kick attempt.

“They’ve got us on size, speed and strength,” Robinson said. “We’ve got four top 10 teams in a row, so we knew this was going to be a tough stretch. We’re playing a lot of young kids. Start a lot of sophomores. We think that will help next year. We’re hoping the experience is invaluable.”

Lowry seemed genuinely impressed by the effort. “They fought hard. They came back and didn’t give up,” he said. “They always put up a fight.”

Columbine goes to 5-1. Lakewood falls to 2-4.