Devil. Dawgs. Back. 2. Back.

Softball Wins State


Abby Edwards, Staff Editor/Writer

In the 4 short years that the class of 2022 has been in attendance at Holy Family High School, sports have transformed and become nothing short of awe-amazing and inspiring. For two of the three seniors in the class of 2022, this was not their first, or second, or even third rodeo at the CHSAA State Softball tournament. For all three seniors, playing together the past few years has brought memories that will last a lifetime, thus the reason that this last ride was so special.

At the beginning of the season if you asked any of the three seniors, Ava Kuszak, Abby Edwards, or Annika Manzanares if they would have been playing for their second state title in two years, we all would have unanimously answered “no.” Starting the season with a quick and distraught 2-2 record, hopes were not too high for the ’21 season.

Quickly the team turned around and moved up in the state rankings by cruising past Erie twice, Mead, and other highly ranked teams like Ponderosa and Windsor. Rolling into regionals the tigers were 24-4 and seeded No. 1 in the state. By defeating Pueblo Central and Berthoud, the team was in the state tournament.

A week after regionals, the team was set at 10 am in Aurora to face the 16th seeded Palmer Ridge. Palmer Ridge came out ready to play early, but so did the tigers, specifically freshman ace Izzy Arroyo. Winning the first game of the state tournament against the bears put the Tigers against a familiar foe, the Mead Mavericks. Facing them for the third time this season, the Tigers were about to work for the title.

A hard fought battle for 7 long innings, despite having 2 homeruns hit against them, the Tigers came through with the dub, after a clutch 2-rbi double by Annika Manzanares in the bottom of the 6th inning, along with stellar defense behind Arroyo.

The next morning at Aurora Sports Park the tigers were set to face the No. 4 ranked Riverdale Ridge, and throughout the entire complex, a new saying was being rallied, “beaks down.” After a first inning 2-run home run from senior Abby Edwards, and a solo homerun in the 3rd by Kaylee McDonald, the Tigers ran away with the lead and never looked back. That win set the table for the ship, homeruns, homeruns, and more homeruns.

And that’s exactly what the Tigers did. Led by senior Ava Kuszak with 2 homeruns and 4 hits all together, the senior balled out her last game in the purple in gold, helping the team to its 3rd title in 4 years, and Ava’s 4th in just as many. The opposition, D’Evelyn, despite having multiple hard hit balls, as well as an actual tackle from KMAC, the jaguars just could not come out on top of Izzy Arroyo’s killer pitching once again.

For the class of 2022, not only was this championship filled with more gratitude than ever before, but also a sense of fulfillment knowing we are leaving the program in hands of girls that know where it has come from, and where it can go.

One more time, HORNS DOWN!