First round state tournament playoff games in softball this week made it that much easier to calm the nerves for many local teams on Tuesday as the Class 5A, 4A and 3A brackets all got going all across Colorado.
A smattering of teams in all three brackets will get the chance to play on in Thursday’s quarterfinals, also to be played at the home fields of the higher-seeded teams, with Saturday at the Aurora Sports Park the intended destination.
Here’s a look at Tuesday’s results, by classification:
No. 2 Broomfield 4, No. 15 Brighton 2: Broomfield scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to avoid an upset, and will host No. 10 Cherokee Trail on Thursday after the Cougars beat fellow Front Range League team Horizon. No details of the Eagles’ win were immediately available, but BHS improved to 16-1 on the season.
No. 1 Rock Canyon 11, No. 16 Legacy 1: The Lightning had a rough go of it in a regular season meeting against top-seeded Rock Canyon, and it wasn’t much easier Tuesday as the Jaguars jumped out to a 5-0 lead and cruised with a nine-hit effort. Senior Anna Reimers struck out eight Legacy batters and LHS finished 9-8.
No. 3 Holy Family 13, No. 14 Mesa Ridge 0: Jaelen Giron threw four perfect innings while striking out four, and Jenna Pfenning delivered five RBIs to lead the Tigers into the quarterfinals on Thursday. Holy Family jumped out to a 6-0 lead after just an inning and never looked back, finishing with 11 hits overall. Holy Family will host No. 6 seed Silver Creek in the next round.
No. 6 Silver Creek 3, No. 11 Pueblo Central 0: Silver Creek out-hit Central 10-3 and Maddie Kuehl delivered once again with 15 strikeouts to get the Raptors into the next round and pit them against Holy Family for a third time this season. All three of SCHS’ runs came in the second inning, the big hits coming from Jordan Dillow and Morgan Suess. “It was a tough adjustment, we see some good pitching in the South-Central League but this was a little different,” Pueblo Central coach Larry Romero told The Pueblo Chieftain. “The ball got on us really quick and it was hard to adjust. It took us about three innings to get even close to making adjustments we needed.”
No. 8 Conifer 14, No. 9 Frederick 4: Frederick scored two runs in the first inning against the Lobos, but Conifer was relentless in scoring at least three runs in each of the first four innings to pull away and send the Warriors to an unwanted early exit. No details of the game were immediately available as FHS finished the season 11-6.
No. 5 Lyons 6, No. 12 Weld Central 0: Behind some fantastic pitching by senior Shantel Koester (6 2/3 innings, two hits, four strikeouts) and a pair of hits apiece from Koester and Brooklyn Enny, the Lions marched on to Thursday’s quarterfinals after pulling away from the Rebels. Run-scoring hits from Enny and Hannah Schweiger, and another RBI off a sacrifice fly from Raeana Ortiz stretched a 2-0 lead into a more comfortable one, giving LHS the right to host No. 13 Brush in the next round.