It was one of those weeks that prompted a double-take at the stat sheets.
In five softball games, Doherty senior Mariana Morales smacked a staggering six home runs - including one grand slam. The Spartans went 3-2, and a powerful slugger emerged.
That lifted Morales' total to 10 homers, which placed her fourth in the state behind leader Rylyn Nelson, of Sterling, who had 12 before this week. Morales still has four games left to rack up some more.
Though Morales has an impressive resume that features stints with a Mexican state team, she didn't necessary expect those kinds of numbers.
"I'm surprised that it happened," said Morales, who earned this week's Gazette Preps Peak Performer honor. "I'm really happy about the results I'm having."
This season, she has recorded multiple homers in three games.
As a catcher, Morales has a .926 fielding percentage. And she already has topped last season's home run total of two to along with a .571 batting average and 41 RBIs.
Morales arrived at Doherty two years ago. Her dad was already working in construction when she moved from Mexico to Colorado Springs with the rest of her family.
Almost as soon she picked up a bat, observers noticed something special.
Coach Mike Berkey was one of them. It helped that Morales has played softball most of her life, highlighted by her time with a youth state team in Chihuahua, Mexico.
"We have some girls we devote a lot of time to," Berkey said. "With her, she's kind of coaching herself behind the plate. She will drop down to her knee to block a pitch. She will throw a runner out on her knees. She's one of those special players that come around once in a blue moon.
"And as a coach, you start licking your chops and say, 'Why can't we have 10 more like her?'"
Despite all the big numbers, Morales is known to have a quiet demeanor. She doesn't really say much except to offer smiles, do her part and congratulate her teammates.
That's because when she's playing, she's usually focused one person: her brother Juan Ramon. He died from cancer at age 12. Though Morales was only 8 at the time, she hasn't forgotten about him.
"Every game I play is for him," she said. "Sometimes when I have a hard time and I want to give up sometimes, I think about him."
Along with teammates like Angelina LoCricchio and Delanie Baker, Morales will continue to play a crucial role for the Spartans, who, mathematically, have a chance to make it to the postseason despite their 48th RPI ranking.
On Wednesday, the Spartans (10-9, 6-3 5A Colorado Springs Metro League) will host Pine Creek (9-8, 7-0).
Morales simply hopes she can contribute the rest of the way - whether that's big or small, single or home run.
"I have had some ups and downs and I feel like everything is working now," she said.
Just the Facts
Mariana Morales, Doherty
Sport: Softball
Year: Senior
Position: Catcher
Stats: In five games last week, she hit six home runs, including a grand slam, to go along with 15 RBIs and two doubles. She went 11 for 17 during this stretch.
Favorite movie: The Shack
Favorite song: "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Guns N' Roses
Other Peak Performers
Cross country
Mason Norman, The Classical Academy
The junior dominated the boys' 5,000-meter field at the Pueblo Central Invitational last Saturday by clocking in a time of 16 minutes, 18 seconds - nearly 30 seconds faster than the runner-up - to take the individual title.
Alexisius Jones, Fountain-Fort Carson
The sophomore had 340 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries in a 58-18 thumping of Overland last Friday.
Trevon Walker, Mesa Ridge
The senior busted opened a 27-0 win over District 3 rival Widefield last Friday with 293 yards and two touchdowns - including a 59-yarder.
JD Hart, Peyton
The senior rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns - including two for 56 and 58 yards - in a 42-6 win over Platte Canyon last Saturday.
Boys' golf
Andrew Merz, Coronado
The sophomore won the Region 1 individual title by three strokes with a 76, enough to carry the Cougars to the team title last week.
Boys' soccer
Acxel Perez, Ellicott
The senior had a season-best five goals in an 8-3 win over Dolores Huerta Prep last Wednesday to give the 4-2 Thunderhawks their second win in three games.
Genesis Andino-Cabrera, Discovery Canyon
The sophomore smacked a grand slam and finished with six RBIs in an 11-6 win over Pueblo Central on Saturday.

Chhun Sun is a sports reporter with an emphasis in preps. He joined The Gazette in April 2015 and covered public safety for three years before joining @gazettepreps staff. The Thailand-born Cambodian-American has been in journalism for nearly two decades.

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