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Golden softball gets historic win over rival Wheat Ridge


WHEAT RIDGE — There is a possibility most of Golden’s softball players weren’t even born the last time the Demons defeated rival Wheat Ridge on the softball field.

“I honestly have no idea when Golden last beat Wheat Ridge, no idea,” Golden softball coach Chad Hebers said after the Demons defeated the Farmers 13-3 in five innings Saturday, Sept. 23, on Wheat Ridge’s home field. “It was long before I was here.”

Hebers in is in sixth year with the Demons program. The MaxPreps.com softball archive of scores only dates back to 2009. Over the previous eight meetings, Wheat Ridge had outscored Golden 97-4.

The Demons had strong teams in the early 2000s, including a trip to the Class 5A state semifinals. That is likely the last time Golden defeated Wheat Ridge. The Farmers have won six state titles — two in 5A and four in 4A — since 2002.

“After a win like this — Wheat Ridge has some history behind them — now there is something to talk about,” Hebers said of his squad that improved to 11-3 on the season. “When we show up, we’re good. I love our chances.”

Golden (1-1 in 4A Jeffco) dropped its conference opener to three-time defending 4A state champion Valor Christian 4-1 on Sept. 19. However, the Demons bats didn’t waste anytime getting going Saturday morning.

Sophomore Makenzie Middleton belted a 3-run home run in the top of the first inning to get things going. She added a 2-run home run in the top of the third inning to extend Golden’s lead to 6-0.

“When I go up to hit I don’t really try,” Makenzie said of thinking about hitting home runs when she steps up to the plate. “I just try to hit it. Sometimes it goes over and sometimes it doesn’t. Today I got lucky.”

Makenzie might be more good than lucky. She has nine home runs on the season while driving in 21 runs through the Demons’ first 14 games.

Not to be outdone, Makenzie’s twin sister Makayla put an exclamation point on the victory. Golden’s leadoff batter had already scored twice with a single and double. Makayla ripped a grand slam in the top of the fifth inning to widen the Demons’ lead to 13-2.

“I was just hoping to get a base hit to score a couple of runs,” Middleton said of her at-bat with the bases loaded. “I didn’t want to pop it up or hit it right at a player. The pitch was right there.”

Golden’s Wonder Twins combined to go 5-for-8 from the plate with 3 home runs, 9 RBIs and scored five runs. While Makayla said the identical twins don’t have a catchy nickname, that might be coming soon for the dynamic duo.

The Middleton twins weren’t the lone Demons who got the bats going against the three different pitchers Wheat Ridge threw against Golden. Senior Madison Campbell was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, senior Megan Feiner was 2-for-3 from the plate and junior Cassidy Paulson had a trio of singles. Paulson also picked up the complete-game victory on the mound scattering five Farmer hits.

“They played very unselfish today,” Hebers said.

Wheat Ridge junior Julia Shipley and senior Kate Anderson both drove in a run for the Farmers (7-9, 1-2). Wheat Ridge got on the board with a 2-run bottom of the fourth inning, but Golden responded with a 6-run top of the fifth inning to help induce the 10-run mercy rule.

“This is the offense we have,” Hebers said. “When we show up, we show up. It can be impressive and explosive.”

Golden has the inside track to grab second-place and an automatic postseason bid in the league behind Valor. The Demons’ biggest challenge could come at home next Saturday against D’Evelyn (8-4, 1-0). Wheat Ridge will attempt to get back on track and end its 2-game losing streak at home Thursday against Evergreen.

Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.


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