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Softball: Four area teams set to host regional play

Erie, Mead, Holy Family, Legacy all get nod with high seeds

Frederick junior pitcher Haley Howell (27) ...
Daily Camera file photo
Frederick’s Haley Howell, who struck out 23 batters in a game just a week ago, will try and get the Warriors into the Class 4A state tournament through regional play on Saturday.
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By now, the softball teams at Erie, Holy Family and Mead are used to playing high stakes games against each other.

After, it was only last October when Mead and Holy Family battled for the Class 4A state championship.

And while the three teams beat each other up a little bit through the course of the 2021 season, that didn’t prevent any of them from being selected as regional tournament hosts when the pairings were announced Monday by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Ten area teams made regional play between Class 5A, 4A and 3A — but 4A is again where most of the action is as Holy Family (No. 1 overall seed), Erie (No. 3) and Mead (No. 7) will host tournaments this weekend. Joining them is Legacy in 5A, which earned a No. 5 seed.

Holy Family, the defending champion, is 19-4 entering Saturday’s tournament with one of those losses coming to Mead early in the season. The team carries a .422 team batting clip, while freshman Isabella Arroyo has struck fear into the opponents’ dugout with a perfect 12-0 record and 1.97 earned-run average. Set to try and upend the red-hot Tigers are Denver North (32 seed), Pueblo Central (16) and Berthoud (17).

Erie, also 19-4 but who finished with two league losses to HFHS, has outscored opponents 253-67 so far this season. The Tigers have used perhaps less power (just 13 home runs) and more speed (79 stolen bases) to put together another season worthy of state tournament contention, and they’ll host Palmer Ridge (30 seed), Discovery Canyon (14) and Pueblo County (19) on Saturday.

Mead was 3-5 after an Aug. 28 loss to Rocky Mountain, but turned up the heat in September and October going 12-3 the rest of the way including a win against Elizabeth, whom Holy Family lost to last week. A well rounded lineup has shown up consistently for the Mavericks, led by an outstanding senior combination of Maddox Boston and Claire Adams. Pueblo East (26 seed), D’Evelyn (10) and Falcon (23) come to Longmont on Saturday in Region 7.

Elsewhere:

— The Frederick Warriors continue to make their case as one of the area’s most consistent squads and will be a No. 13 seed heading the short way to No. 4 seed Riverdale Ridge in Brighton in 4A play. Just last Monday, junior Haley Howell struck out 23 Severance batters in a 12-inning, 3-2 win for FHS that strikes as one of the more memorable performances in the circle in recent annals.

— At 8-15, Lyons managed to make another 3A regional bracket thanks to a tough schedule and enough strong performances within it. The Lions travel to Eaton, looking to score their first runs against the Fightin’ Reds in three games (outscored 34-0).

— Peak to Peak (10-13) enters 3A regional play as a No. 17 seed after scoring 217 runs in 22 games.

— Legacy’s last hurrah with Dawn Gaffin as head coach will once again play out with a regional at a home site. The Lightning scored 268 runs on their way to a 19-4 mark, and they’ll look to survive against Heritage (28 seed), Cherokee Trail (12) and/or Rocky Mountain (21) on Saturday.

— For the first time in recent memory, Boulder is still playing softball. Riley Bowman’s impressive 20 wins in the circle have helped carry the Panthers into regional play, though an assignment at Ponderosa (No. 5 seed in 4A) is a tough draw. Still, BHS has built something special as the area squad with the most wins (21) to this point.

— Broomfield was a real quiet 14-9 after starting 2-5. The Eagles have proven their mettle with a win over Holy Family and pitcher’s dual losses against Horizon (5A No. 1 seed) and Fossil Ridge (5A 3 seed). They’ll play at Legend.

— Niwot has shown skills at the plate and on the basepaths, racking up a .391 average with 18 home runs and 82 stolen bases. Consistency in the circle will now be that tallest task as the Cougars (4A 27 seed) play at 6 seed Windsor.