Mustangs nearly capture no-hitter

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ARVADA - To call Ralston Valley’s pitching effort against the Lakewood Tigers strong would not only be appropriate, it would be factual.

The Mustangs nearly no-hit Lakewood behind an unbreakable pitching performance by sophomore Rylie Strong in a 13-0 shutout victory Wednesday at Ralston Valley High School.

But after having no success against the arm of Strong for five innings and on the verge of being on the wrong side of history, the Tigers finally broke up the no-no when senior Natalie Stevens singled to center field.

“I thought we might have a no-hitter out here today, but it’s not about that and more about the win,” Ralston Valley coach Wendy Davies said. “We played well today.”

While the no-hitter was lost, the Mustangs were certainly not disappointed. But why would they be, combining for 13 runs on 15 hits, including senior Katie Lamirato’s huge stat-line that included three RBIs and four runs scored.

“Some of us on this team have been playing together since we were eight years old, so we feel like we have a lot to prove in each game of our senior years,” Lamirato said.

But while the scoreboard said the Tigers were blown out they remain extremely positive about the loss.

Lakewood coach Jennifer Coulson acknowledged Ralston Valley might be the best team in 5A Jeffco, but she also thinks her team is close to breaking out.

“Our league is stacked. There are so many good teams in our league which means we have to turn into one of those teams ourselves,” Coulson said. “We think we are close to breaking out and going on a run of our own.”

Coulson may be onto something because three days later Lakewood got its first league win, 4-3 at Standley Lake on Saturday.

The Tigers (3-10, 1-3) will host Bear Creek Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

The Mustangs (10-3, 4-0) are coming off seven straight victories and will play at Arvada West Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

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