AURORA - Valor Christian is a state champion in softball for the third straight year. The Eagles defeated Erie 3-1 Saturday afternoon for the title.
Both teams looked sharp at the start of the game, but it was Valor who would put points on the board. At the top of the first inning, Erica Mann's hit went straight down the third base line, and snuck past Erie to score teammate Savannah Behabetz.
The Eagles would strike again at the top of the fourth. Senior Madalyn Mitchell belted a home run to extend her team's lead to two, but the Tigers would fight back in the bottom of that inning. Hannah Hackney's single scored Teagan Brand, and Erie would pull the game back within one. It had looked as though the Tigers were going to take the lead when Maddie Foster hit the ball over the fence in that same inning, but it was called foul. She was walked instead.
Pitching turned out to be a huge difference maker in this game. Alexandria Kilponen was outstanding on the mound for Valor Christian, throwing 13 strikeouts in her team's victory.
Valor would score off a wild pitch at the top of the fifth for their final run of the game. The Eagles finished the season 24-1 to take home their third straight state title.
Watch the video for extended highlights from the 4A state softball championship, and tune in to the 9NEWS Prep Rally Sunday for more.
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