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A look at the local first-round matchups for the state softball tournaments Friday at Aurora Sports Park. The winner of each game plays again Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The semifinals will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday with the state championship games to follow at 1:15 p.m.


CLASS 5A

(7) Broomfield vs. (10) Central (Grand Junction)

When: 12:15 p.m., Friday

Records: Broomfield 15-6 (Region 2 champion); Grand Junction Central 18-4 (Region 7 qualifier).

Quick hits: Broomfield’s introductory season to 5A has to be pretty encouraging to coach Paula Seifried, and the Eagles enter state winners of five straight games … The Eagles outscored their opponents 21-2 in regional play and have scored 60 runs during the win streak … BHS puts the ball in play, having struck out just 54 times in 676 plate appearances as a team … Sophomore Kenzie Jackson led the team with a .533 average, and classmate Lindsey Malkin led with six home runs and 30 RBIs … Taylor Gilmore, yet another sophomore, was 12-6 with a 2.46 earned-run average, striking out 73 in 102.1 innings … Central is returning to state for the first time since 2010, and the Warriors did so by posting back-to-back regional wins against Mountain Vista and Loveland … Sierra Batchelor hit .529, and a pair of senior Warriors, Tyler Hays and Megan Cosslett, have hit six home runs apiece … Batchelor also had five pitching wins as a secondary arm to Melisa Gellermann (13-3, 2.60 ERA) … The winner will play Dakota Ridge or Horizon in second round Friday.

 

 

CLASS 4A

(1) Frederick vs. (16) D’Evelyn

When: 10 a.m., Friday

Records: Frederick 21-0 (Region 1 champion); D’Evelyn 8-14 (Region 6 qualifier).

Quick hits: The Warriors will begin Friday’s competition in a unique position being the top seed, but they have more than earned it with a tough schedule and an unblemished record … Defense and pitching have been spectacular, as FHS allows just about 1.5 runs per game. They’ve allowed just 36 runs to cross the plate, and 12 of those came in two games against Windsor … Alicia Hernandez led all classifications in wins with 20 and was seventh in strikeouts (168) while walking just 34 … Mae Mitchell led the team with a .486 average, Paris Woods led in RBI with 40, and Savannah Hall belted six home runs, a display of the squad’s balance … Alex Dufour also swiped 22 bases … Don’t sleep on D’Evelyn. The Jaguars beat a very good Vista Ridge team twice in regionals to make the state bracket … D’Evelyn is prone to the strikeout, however, with 170 whiffs on the season.


(8) Ponderosa vs. (9) Silver Creek

When: 10 a.m., Friday

Records: Ponderosa 14-7 (Region 6 champion); Silver Creek 16-6 (Region 3 qualifier).

Quick hits: The Raptors finished 13-1 in the Northern League and their reward is a first-round state matchup against the state’s leading strikeout pitcher, Ally Power … Three of Silver Creek’s losses came at the Erie Festival of Champions, and the Raptors have gone 13-3 since … Freshman Dana Dwyer hit an outstanding .553 in her first varsity season, leading the team with 39 RBIs, too … Casey Wagner and Sheyann Ludwig each mashed five home runs and hit better than .400 … Dwyer also was the team’s ace in the circle, finishing with every decision while pitching all but two-thirds of the team’s 138 2/3 innings … The Mustangs are a light-hitting team that scored just 107 runs this year, but with Power pacing them they really only needed three runs a game … In pitching every inning for PHS, Power had three no-hitters, struck out 243 batters and issued just 17 walks.

 

(6) Erie vs. (11) Falcon

When: 12:15 p.m., Friday

Records: Erie 13-8 (Region 2 champion); Falcon 14-8 (Region 1 qualifier).

Quick hits: The Tigers are back in a familiar position and should be considered as one of the potential bracket busters in 4A given their seed and traditional postseason swagger … Erie played 5A stalwarts Legacy, Grandview, Loveland and Dakota Ridge during the season, accounting for half its losses … The lineup is a bit top-heavy with Rio Sanchez, Tiffany Maul and Katie Kovets making up most of the offense, with Maul’s 16 RBIs being the most on the team … Sanchez has done all the pitching recently, going 9-6 with a respectable 1.30 ERA … Falcon can also claim a lot of experience this year against 5A competition (Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain, Monarch among the teams they played) and played Frederick tight in regionals … The Falcons boast four very solid hitters in Brittany Schlitz, Matison Slider, Madison Whorton and Laci Lashley, all who hit better than .373 … Lashley went 12-5 with a 2.79 ERA despite a strikeout-to-walk ratio of about 3:2.

 

(2) Valor Christian vs. (15) Mead

When: 12:15 p.m., Friday

Records: Valor Christian 20-1 (Region 8 champion); Mead 11-11 (Region 7 qualifier).

Quick hits: Mead’s first appearance at the state tournament comes after smashing both Thomas Jefferson and Berthoud in regionals. The Mavericks scored 29 runs in those two games … Despite being .500, Mead has a plus-74 scoring margin on the season … Senior Tianna Harper provided the team with a lot of power, hitting .471 with five home runs and 13 total extra-base hits … Bree Boruff hit .386 and scored 33 runs, and Shaylee Jelinek drove in 24 … Sydney Boaz had 19 RBIs on 20 hits … The Mavericks are a pretty good fielding team with just 35 errors reported … Anna Veltien and Mackenzie Regan have split pitching duties equally, and either could start Friday … Valor’s only loss so far this season was to D’Evelyn, 1-0 … The most glaring stat for the Eagles are the 14 runs they’ve allowed all season … Valor Christian also has used the same 10 players the whole year, and just one batter is hitting below .368 … Kendall Ohman is a wrecking ball, with a .627 average and 43 stolen bases … Alexandria Kilponen is 14-1 with 189 strikeouts, and she’s allowed just 42 hits and walks combined in 96 innings.


(7) Mullen vs. (10) Niwot

When: 12:15 p.m., Friday

Records: Mullen 12-9 (Region 3 champion); Niwot 16-5-1 (Region 5 qualifier).

Quick hits: After missing the state tournament in 2013, the Cougars are back after taking care of Delta twice in regional play … Niwot closed the regular season winning nine of its last 10 games … The Cougars can flat-out crush the ball, hitting 26 home runs and 89 extra-base hits as a team. Brooklynn DeLozier had nine bombs on her own, and three others have at least four … Bailey Kleespies has scored 46 runs … Niwot also has good team speed … Grace Ladd, Meghan Waidler and Madison Kunkel all have roughly the same amount of innings in the circle, with Kunkel carrying the best winning percentage (5-1) … Walks have been an issue, with the three combining for 66 free passes in 136 2/3 innings … Mullen is a battle-tested No. 7 seed, having gone 5-2 in the 5A/4A Centennial League … The Mustangs have wins against Grandview, Cherokee Trail and Cherry Creek, all good 5A teams … Freshman Elicia Espinosa has put the team on her back, hitting .448 with six home runs and 26 RBIs … Like Niwot, the Mustangs don’t rely on just one pitcher but in fact use three (Tatianna Dominguez, Allie Reynolds and Mary Margaret Brady).

 

 

CLASS 3A

(7) Skyline vs. (10) Brush

When: 12:15 p.m., Friday

Records: Skyline 16-5 (Region 6 qualifier); Brush 11-10 (Region 3 qualifier).

Quick hits: Though the Falcons arguably would have been competitive in 4A because of experience, the move to 3A has proved fruitful with a state tournament appearance … Falcons have won nine of their past 11 games … Prior to regional play, Skyline boasted a .437 team batting average, with two (Hannah Painter and Leah Osborn) better than .625 … Osborn also had 20 extra base hits … Neena Shields had 33 RBIs … Shields went 13-3 with 76 strikeouts to just 15 walks for the Falcons … After a six-game win streak, Brush has won just four of its past 11 contests … The Beetdiggers did play well in regionals, going 1-1 and losing to 17-2 La Junta by a 7-4 count … Lauren Staley carries a .475 average with a team-most 12 extra base hits and 26 RBIs … Brush has 88 stolen bases in 19 reported games … Skyline, a very patient hitting team, should be able to capitalize on a Brush pitching staff that walks a lot of batters.

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