By Wayne Crick
After posting an 8-4 Western Slope League record and going 10-6 overall, Cedaredge High School’s softball team earned one of 16 Class 3A state tournament berths in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The Bruins entered the tournament as the number 15 seed and traveled to Greeley to face second seeded University High School.
The Bulldogs’ starting pitcher, senior Keylee Kern, spun a gem in a five-inning contest with University posting a 10-0 shutout to raise Kern’s season record to 12-2. Sophomore Kaden Wyatt led the Bulldogs offense with a 2-4 plate performance with two RBIs and a triple.
Cedaredge, which finished the 2020 season as the 3A WSL’s third place team, joined Delta in the field of 16 for the 2020 CHSAA State Softball Tournament with higher RPI rankings than second place Basalt.
Cedaredge, though it was shut out in its state tournament opener, had numerous players who contributed greatly to the success of the Bruins throughout the season and were ranked in the top 20 of several categories in both league and state statistics. Cedaredge had five players in the top 20 in the WSL in batting average, one in home runs, six in slugging percentage, one in RBIs, two in runs scored, six in on-base percentage, eight in stolen bases and two in strikeouts.
The Bruins had the league’s top batting average in senior Jamie Meyer who posted a .600 for the season and finished 33rd in Class 3A. Meyer’s three home runs ranked her second in league play and seventh in 3A, second in league for slugging percentage (12th in 3A), 13th in league for RBIs (42nd in 3A) and third in league for on-base percentage (25th in 3A).
Other top 20 Bruins in batting average were junior Lauren Pierce (fifth), senior Taneal Mautz (10th), senior Brooke Claridge (15th) and junior Larissa Cotten (18th). Slugging percentage top 20 (other than Jamie Meyer) included Claridge (sixth), Mautz (eighth), senior Candace Siebler (ninth), junior Kayla Davis (13th) and senior Jazmyn Ince (19th).
Cedaredge’s top 20 in runs scored included Cotten (10th) and Claridge (13th). Top 20 On Base Percentage players for the Bruins included Mautz (seventh), Pierce (eighth), Davis (17), Cotten (19th) and Claridge (20th). The eight Bruins in the top 20 of Stolen Bases were Cotten (first), Davis (seventh), Araylin Hoffbauer (12th), Mautz (13th), Ince (14th), senior Jakira Barnett (18th), freshman Kacey Walck (19th) and Siebler (20th). Senior Makayla Meyer was first in the strikeout category with Siebler sixth.
Cedaredge Coach Lonny Stroud knew early his Bruins had something special about them. “I’ve known this was a very special team from the start. These girls know that nothing is given to you in life and if you really want it you need to put in the work and go get it. This team was never happy with good …. they wanted great all season.”
With the end of the season there’s always a list of people who need to be recognized for their support. “I would like to thank all our sponsors, parents, teachers, my family and my assistants for an absolutely amazing season, and even though I had medical issues, I got enough help to make it work. A very special thank you to this team for giving me their best and reaching our goals. We have no regrets.”