For the four Boulder County softball teams that made it out of regional play this past weekend, it was all about turning things up a notch when all the chips were on the table.

Legacy, Silver Creek, Erie and Frederick all did their due diligence at their respective tournaments — and on the most part, by authority we might add — in order to get back to a familiar place as programs still alive for a chance at state championships.

On Monday, they learned where they fell in the 5A and 4A tournament fields as the brackets for Friday's first rounds were established. The tournament once again will take place Friday and Saturday at the Aurora Sports Park, with the first games beginning Friday at 10 a.m.

Legacy walloped a pair of regional opponents by a combined 27-1 score to keep a nice winning streak alive, and in doing so the Lightning earned a No. 3 seed for Friday. That puts head coach Dawn Gaffin's team in the 12:15 p.m. block of games against No. 14 ThunderRidge, with the potential of a Front Range League rematch with No. 6 Loveland in the second round.

As the lone 5A representative from the area, Legacy joins Eaglecrest (No. 1 seed), Arvada West and Fossil Ridge as the favorites among the big schools. The Lightning suffered losses against Arvada West and Fossil Ridge this season.


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In 4A, it's been a trying year for Erie — another perennial state championship contender — but the Tigers seem to be hitting a good stride after winning the Tri-Valley League yet again and escaping past Holy Family 12-10 in the regional championship. Erie plays one of the toughest schedules in the state, and the result is a 16-5 Tigers team getting the No. 4 seed for the tournament.

Kayla Harper and the Silver Creek Raptors are the No. 8 seed in the Class 4A state tournament.
Kayla Harper and the Silver Creek Raptors are the No. 8 seed in the Class 4A state tournament. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

The road to Saturday's semifinals appears decent for Erie, which will play a Pueblo County team that managed to edge Berthoud twice in regional play to qualify. If the Tigers get past the Hornets in the 10 a.m. game, either Pueblo Central or Air Academy would follow.

Erie and Silver Creek could potentially meet in the semifinals, but the No. 8 Raptors would likely have to score an upset of No. 1 Valor Christian to get that local matchup. Still, the Raptors were a team many considered on that championship plane in the preseason and come in hot after convincing wins over Mullen and Pueblo West in regionals by a combined 24-5.

The Raptors play Conifer, which breezed through a weak Colorado 7 league but managed to beat Windsor two times this past Saturday to legitimize their record.

Hanging down in the bottom half of the 4A bracket is Frederick, which once again put everything together impressively to beat Pueblo East and Ponderosa in regionals and earn a dangerous No. 7 seed. Frederick has a resume that includes games against Valor and Arvada West, as well as seeing Erie twice — and hopefully again with everything on the line if both teams can fight their way to the title tilt.

Historically speaking, the 4A teams are all out to prevent Valor Christian's Ali Kilponen from being just the second Colorado pitcher to win four consecutive state titles. The other to do it? Erie's Mariah Bledsoe.

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24

Class 5A state softball tournament schedule

at Aurora Sports Park

First Round

(1) Eaglecrest vs. (16) Rocky Mountain, 10 a.m.

(8) Pomona vs. (9) Brighton, 10 a.m.

(4) Fossil Ridge vs. (13) Grand Junction Central, 10 a.m.

(5) Columbine vs. (12) Douglas County, 10 a.m.

(3) Legacy vs. (14) ThunderRidge, 12:15 p.m.

(6) Loveland vs. (11) Prairie View, 12:15 p.m.

(2) Arvada West vs. (15) Mountain Vista, 12:15 p.m.

(7) Cherry Creek vs. (10) Legend, 12:15 p.m.

Second round follows immediately after

Semifinals and championships played Saturday (10 a.m./1:30 p.m.)

Class 4A state softball tournament schedule

at Aurora Sports Park

First Round

(1) Valor Christian vs. (16) Ponderosa, 10 a.m.

(8) Silver Creek vs. (9) Conifer, 10 a.m.

(4) Erie vs. (13) Pueblo County, 10 a.m.

(5) Pueblo Central vs. (12) Air Academy, 10 a.m.

(3) Discovery Canyon vs. (14) Wheat Ridge, 12:15 p.m.

(6) Thomas Jefferson vs. (11) Mountain View, 12:15 p.m.

(2) Golden vs. (15) Elizabeth, 12:15 p.m.

(7) Frederick vs. (10) Mullen, 12:15 p.m.

Second round follows immediately after

Semifinals and championships played Saturday (10 a.m./1:30 p.m.)