HS Softball: Fruita, Grand Junction look to take SWL title Thursday night

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) For years the battle for the Southwestern League title has been in the hands of Fruita Monument and Central. Now it's up to Grand Junction and Fruita to duke it out at the top Thursday night.

Most recently Fruita has held the upper hand, taking three straight titles, but last season was a close call as Grand Junction stepped to the plate to give Fruita a challenge.

Once again the two will go under the lights in one final game to determine the SWL champ. Both teams put in one final practice Wednesday afternoon before entering into Thursday's big game.

It's been over a month since the Wildcats and Tigers opened conference play on opposite sides of the field. It was a close call, but in the end the Wildcats finished with the 3-2 win and need just one more to claim the title.

"I'm excited. I'm ready for it," said sophomore FMHS pitcher Lauren Reed. "I'm just going to come out and do what I did last time against them, and hopefully we get the W."

"Junction's a good competitor; they have been since we've been young" said senior FMHS third baseman Makenzi DeCrow. "They're always going to bring us a tough game, and we're looking forward to the pitching and everything that can take it away from us."

But Fruita won't be without some strong opposition. Hitting will be a huge factor in this game. Even Grand Junction knows their offense wasn't up to par back in August, but this time around they're coming ready to fight.

The missed opportunity in 2012 is still burning in the back of their minds, and they know the pressure is on. For the seniors, it'll be one final chance to be the Southwestern League champs for the first time in their high school career.

"It's sad but then again I'm more excited," said senior GJHS pitcher Elisha Jahnke. "I think I'm ready. All of us seniors are ready to go out there and win."

"I'm really excited," said senior GJHS 3rd baseman Shafer Rubalcaba. "You want every single game; you have to come out playing your hardest, and it would just be the cherry on top if we could go out and win league our last year.

The deciding game starts at 7:00 PM Thursday night at CMU's Bergman Field. Winner takes all.

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