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Softball: Makenzie Sais breaks Frederick’s steal record, plus a regional breakdown

Frederick's Makenzie Sais helped the Golden Eagles to a regional championship this past weekend. (Daily Camera file photo)
Frederick’s Makenzie Sais helped the Golden Eagles to a regional championship this past weekend. (Daily Camera file photo)
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BRIGHTON — There’s something special about this Frederick softball team.

Whether it’s their senior ace Haley Howell, who has thrown three no-hitters this season, or their top thief in junior outfielder Makenzie Sais, very little has been able to slow down the Golden Eagles. Even in a 4-0 defeat at No. 4 Riverdale Ridge on Tuesday, just their third loss of the year, No. 5 FHS has continuously shown it can hang with the rest of the best.

The setback came just a few days before CHSAA is set to make its selections for regional tournaments, one of which the Golden Eagles will most likely host. They now boast an 18-3 record and 12-2 Longs Peak League record, second only behind Riverdale Ridge.

“I think it’s going to benefit us and show us that we need to be a little bit more aggressive at the plate and have a little bit more of a mindset going up to the plate versus just going up there and trying to swing,” Sais said.

Sais’ biggest asset has come on the basepaths, as she’s stolen 51 bases just this season on 55 attempts. She recently broke the school’s previous career steals mark of 98, and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon with a little over a season left to play. To date, she boasts 111 steals on 116 tries.

She’s third in the nation for steals in 2022, according to MaxPreps’ national statistics.

“Stealing has always  been a really big thing for me because I’ve grown up with speed and I cut down my speed times. I’m trying to get to 60 this year for my junior year,” Sais said. “It’s honestly really helped because when we’re not hitting the best, it really helps bring runs in and get runs on the board.”

Frederick's Tatum Ross makes the out from third base during the Golden Eagles' road game at Riverdale Ridge on Tuesday. (Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)
Frederick’s Tatum Ross makes the out from third base during the Golden Eagles’ road game at Riverdale Ridge on Tuesday. (Alissa Noe/BoCoPreps.com)

She believes that this Golden Eagles team is destined for great things this year and that they can go much farther than they have in years past. They’ll soon be able to put their skills to the test, with regional tournaments just around the corner.

Regional breakdown

The top 32 teams in each classification — based on CHSAA’s RPI rankings and MaxPreps — will qualify for their respective regional tournaments which must conclude by Oct. 15. All league champions automatically qualify for regionals, where the teams will play a double-elimination schedule to see who qualifies for the state tournament.

Class 5A

Looking like a lock:

Erie — The Tigers have taken their first year at 5A by storm, winning 18 of 21 games as they currently enjoy a 17-game winning streak. At No. 3 in CHSAA’s RPI system, they’re a no-doubter for regional qualification.

Broomfield — The Eagles have nearly matched what Erie has been able to put out on the diamond, winning 17 out of 22 games while sifting through a top-notch schedule. Seeded at No. 8 in RPI, Broomfield is sitting pretty for the final week of the season.

Legacy — The Lightning are teetering just over .500 with an 12-9 record, but few other squads have endured the kind of schedule they have, with nearly every team they’ve faced falling in the top 40 of CHSAA’s RPI rankings. They currently sit at No. 19, but have a tough game against No. 13 Fossil Ridge to close out the season. Legacy should be golden.

Class 4A

Looking like a lock:

Holy Family — As always, the Tigers find themselves firmly in the mix for a strong regional showing. Ranked at No. 2 in 4A’s RPI rankings with a 19-4 record and a 12-game winning streak and a potential NCAC league title, there’s no doubt Holy Family will once again vie for a spot at the state tournament as they chase their fourth state championship in five years.

Frederick — The Golden Eagles have taken their game to a new level this year, thanks to a strong ace in Haley Howell and speedster Makenzie Sais. Their 18-3 record and No. 7 RPI ranking should serve them well when they take the diamond for regionals.

Mead — Much like Legacy, the Mavericks have endured a tough regular-season slate and, despite a 13-7 record, that has only solidified their standing with a No. 8 RPI ranking. Even with two tough opponents to close out the regular season, they should be good to go for regionals.

Keep on winning:

Silver Creek — The Raptors play in perhaps one of the toughest leagues thanks to the likes of Holy Family, Windsor, Mead and Greeley West, but that’s only strengthened their chances to qualify for regionals. A 9-11 record and No. 24 RPI standing should be enough to get them in, but they can improve their chances by winning at least a couple of their final four games.

Too close to call:

Boulder — The Panthers stand a good chance of earning their regional bid by winning their 4A/3A Colorado League, but they’ll need to win it outright. They boast a strong 14-7 overall record and No. 36 ranking now, but Thornton could easily take the top spot in the league standings this week if they let their guard down.

Class 3A

Keep on winning: 

Lyons — The Lions began their season with a strong push but have fallen on hard times recently through their tough schedule. They currently sit at No. 17 in the RPI rankings with an 8-10 record but can get in as long as they beat Valley later in the week.

Peak to Peak — The Pumas bounced back after a rough start to their season and sit squarely at No. 27 with a 9-10 record. If they can win out their final two games before regional selections are made, they just may find themselves in the mix to play for a state bid.

Too close to call:

Jefferson Academy — The Jaguars overcame a learning curve to start the season to find themselves at No. 36 in the RPI standings with a 6-12 record, so there’s still a chance for them to find a spot at regionals. They’ll close out their season with two games against a one-win team before finishing with The Academy, who sits at No. 9.

Centaurus — The Warriors, now 6-10, have strung together a few wins as of late to put themselves in a position to vie for a possible regional bid. On Tuesday, they sat at No. 37 in the RPI rankings.

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