Everything surrounding Thursdays Mountain View vs. Rocky Mountain softball game was surreal. Emotion was raw, there were more twists and turns, ups and downs,  tears of joy and tears of defeat but in the end both teams came out of this encounter with a new perspective.

Mountain View softball had been virtually unbeatable all season, 24-2 but as the Mavericks prepared for their District Championship showdown against Rocky Mountain the Mav's would be handed their biggest challenge of the year.

Wednesday night as the Mountain View softball team cheered on the Maverick baseball team in their quest for a District Crown, also against Rocky Mountain, the cheering turned to dead silence as Mountain View pitcher Riley Harrison was struck in the head by a line drive shot back to the mound,

Harrison fell behind the mound and didn't move. Eventually he was helped up and walked to the dugout on his own, holding his head.

Harrison was taken to the trauma center at St. Alphonsus where it was learned he'd suffered a skull fracture, some bleeding and was being observed in ICU. That remains the case as of this posting.

One of the first to Harrisons side was Oakleigh Kirby his girl friend. Kirby is also a pitcher for the Maverick softball team and was scheduled to start against Rocky Mountain in their softball title game Thursday.

Kirby spent all Thursday with Harrison leaving only for the game.

The Mavericks dedicated the game to Harrison by drawing his #9 on the field and their arms but when Kirby took the mound the weight of the last 24 hours had taken a toll.

Kirby allowed 10 hits, 8 earned runs and walked 6 and Rocky Mountain, the prohibitive underdog jumped to a big lead. Kirby would need help from her teammates.

By the 7th inning Mountain View had rallied but still trailed 11-7. That's when Karly Snooks hit a two run double to make it 11-9. Gracie Tentinger followed with an rbi double and it was 11-10. A bases loaded walk scored the tying run, 11-11 and the game went into extra innings.

Rocky Mountain scored a run in the top of the 8th to lead 12-11 but Mountain View scored on a wild pitch and it was 12-12, all tied again.

Then with two outs and one on, bottom of the 8th, Gracie Tentinger stroked a two run walk off homer and Mountain View won the game and the title 14-12.

Kirby was in tears after the game, in fact there were a lot of tears on both sides and I bet a few in ICU as well.

It was more than a game last night, it was a lesson in life and both teams and everyone involved came away with a greater perspective.

Our prayers at 630 The Fan are for Riley Harrison and his family and Riley's full recovery.

The next lesson in life? It doesn't stop, the state baseball and softball tournaments are next week and both the Mountain View and Rocky Mountain softball and baseball teams will be back on the diamond.




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