Coach: Harold Simmons

Record (tournament seed): 16-5 (Class 4A No. 4 seed)

First round opponent: No. 13 Pueblo County (15-7)

Outlook: Erie enters the 2017 tournament on a long streak of making it to at least the semifinals, and Simmons's team is ready to prove themselves post-Rio Sanchez. A more powerful team than one based on speed, Erie has a group of girls that show patience at the plate led by sophomores Kat Sackett (one strikeout in 78 plate appearances) and Madysun Vaughan (.512 average, 22 runs). Meanwhile, the Tigers seniors — the entire lot of them — helped carry the team through a rut in early September. Megan Loveland (10-0, 2.36 ERA) has emerged as the team's best pitcher since Maddie Leach's season-ending injury, but Alyssa Barnett also may see some innings after earning a save in regional play. Pueblo County was 4-6 in the South Central League but has a decent lineup led by senior Makaila Bueno (.459, 24 RBI).




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