Bratt shines in Fruita’s 22-0 rout of High Plains
By PATRICK BAHR and SENTINEL STAFF
Olivia Bratt is a diamond in the rough for the Fruita 9-10 year-old Little League girls softball team.
Monday at the state championship at Little Salt Wash Park, Bratt faced only 14 batters and struck out eight of them in Fruita’s 22-0 win over High Plains.
“This was the best I have pitched,” Bratt said. “It was fun to be up there.”
Bratt spent a majority of her night in the dugout waiting her turn to bat, but when she got her chance on the mound, she shined. Bratt struck out at least two batters in each of the four innings, gave up one walk and one hit.
Not too bad for someone who is in her first year of organized softball.
“She played in the Minor division and you could see she had the talent,” Fruita coach Ron Reed said. “I told her as big as you are and as athletically inclined as you are, you’re gonna be a good ball player.”
Bratt’s performance on the mound isn’t something she’s been giving the Fruita team all summer. After the district tournament two weeks ago, Reed told Bratt to practice on her pitching so he could use her as Fruita’s number two pitcher during the state tournament.
“She worked hard every day to get better,” Reed said. “She gets nervous, and I told her,
Don’t be nervous, just throw. She did a great job tonight.”
Bratt also contributed on the offensive end, scoring four runs, including two in a 15-run third inning. Lauren Reed added a three-RBI double in the big inning and finished the night
2 for 3.
Fruita’s motivation was getting a rematch with Shaw Heights, which defeated Fruita 3-2 in extra innings on Sunday.
“I felt like Shaw Heights got away with one,” Reed said. “We are going to have to come out and execute better.”
If Fruita wins tonight’s 5:30 p.m. game it will force a final game for the state championship Wednesday.
“I’m going to pitch Lauren (today) and they’ll pitch their ace,” Reed said. “It will probably be another low-scoring, intense game.”
In other Little League state tournament action on Monday, Monument advanced to the championship of the 9-10 boys tournament in Cherry Creek by defeating Steamboat Springs 12-0.
Dante Duran threw a two-hit shutout for the victory. Andrew Hansen went 3 for 3 at the plate with a single, a double and a triple.
Monument, with one loss, plays North Boulder at 5:30 this evening.
In the 10-11 year-old tournament at Orchard Mesa, North Boulder tried to erase a 7-0 deficit in the final inning but Tri-Lakes held on for a 7-6 victory.
Tri-Lakes, which has one loss, plays unbeaten Orchard mesa at 6 p.m. tonight in the championship.
Three Grand Mesa teams are all unbeaten and playing in championship games this evening.
The Major girls play Shaw Heights, a team they defeated 16-4 on Sunday, at 5:30 this evening at Cherry Creek.
The Major boys face North Boulder at 6 p.m. at Hidden Lake. Grand Mesa defeated North Boulder 7-0 on Sunday.
The Senior boys play at 6 p.m. at Hidden Lake against the winner of Monday’s Sherrelwood-Colorado Springs game.