AURORA-- When the ball first left Chloe Knapp's bat in the top of the 8th inning, she didn't know what to expect.
"I didn't think it was over," Knapp said. "But it was, thank God."
Her blast just barely cleared the outfield wall in left-center field, and the solo home run gave Cherokee Trail a 1-0 lead over Broomfield in the 5A state championship.
Three outs later, it gave the Cougars their first softball state title in school history, shutting out the number one seeded Broomfield Eagles.
"I can't believe we just did this," Knapp said. "I'm really happy right now."
At the end of the game, the emotions were flowing. But throughout the extra inning affair, the nerves could be felt by everyone in attendance.
Both pitchers were nearly flawless on the day, coming up with clutch strikeouts in too many big situations to count.
For Broomfield, Taylor Gilmore was incredible on the mound.
After getting into a little bit of trouble in the first two innings, the junior settled in and mowed down the Cougar batters for the next five innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, she even helped out her own case by roping a leadoff double that could have represented the winning run for the Eagles.
Unfortunately for them, Cherokee Trail's starting pitcher wasn't too bad herself.
Senior Emily Bell was able to work out of that jam in the seventh, and ended up going eight scoreless innings for the win in the biggest game of the season.
"Emily did an absolutely amazing job," Knapp said. "I'm so proud of her; she won that game."
And together, the Cougars became 2016 champions in 5A.
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