Steamboat Springs When the season began earlier this summer, Oak Creek softball coach Bill Babcock could only dream that it would end the way it did.
But there is no way he could have imagined this.
His girls slowpitch softball team ran the table in league play by going 11-0 in the regular season. Then they capped it off by sweeping through the playoffs and defeating Hayden No. 2 in the championship game 12-9 in Craig on June 28.
"Actually, we thought we were going to lose the last one," pitcher Chelsey Reynolds said. "We were down going into the final inning and it didn't look good."
But she said the veteran team pulled it together in the final inning and managed to steal the win from the Hayden team with a strong offensive push in their final at-bat.
"They were kicking our tails for most of the game," Reynolds said. "They wanted it more than we did."
The victory gave the team the one thing that has escaped it up until this year a perfect 15-0 record for the season. The team has gone 49-3 the past three seasons, so finishing the season without a loss was something the girls talked about at the start of the season and kept on their minds as they made their way past league opponents this summer.
"We wanted to finish the season undefeated, but I don't know if it was our main goal," Reynolds said. "We wanted to win the league championship."
For five members of the team, including Reynolds, this season represented their last chance to post the perfect mark.
Reynolds, Kayle Corrigan and Kayleen Gneiser will all be too old to play for the team, which is limited to players between the ages of 12 and 16, next year. Teammates Paige Iacovetto and Karli Babcock didn't want to come back to the team without their friends.
"We do everything together," Reynolds said of the group of players. "We would like to move to fastpitch, but we haven't found a team yet."
Babcock said unless new opportunities in fastpitch become available soon, the girls might have played their final game on the softball diamond.
"They wanted to finish this season undefeated," Babcock said. "They wanted to go out like John Elway on top of their game."
On the opening day of the playoffs the South Routt team topped Boyco from Craig 12-8. Oak Creek then faced Hayden No. 2 for the first time in the tournament and won that game 15-8.
On Friday the team defeated another Craig team, Ike & Sons, 12-4 to set up the rematch with Hayden No. 2.
"We had to come from behind to beat Hayden in the championship," Babcock said. "It was a pretty exciting season."
Babcock said he would leave this team along with his five starters. However, he said the team will return five players next season plus a host of younger players who are showing a great deal of promise.