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Elite 8: How eight local softball teams punched their tickets to state

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)

Ten teams from the coverage area entered the softball regional tournaments over the weekend. Eight advanced to this weekend’s state tournament in Aurora.

Erie, Frederick, Holy Family and Mead celebrated regional titles, winning straight games inside their four-team tournaments. Broomfield, Legacy, Lyons and Peak to Peak earned the second-qualifying spot out of their regions. All will be at a two-day tournament at Aurora Sports Park starting Friday.

Boulder and Silver Creek were eliminated.

Below is a quick recap of each team’s regional run.

Boulder Panthers

The No. 32 Panthers, after winning their first league title in 25 years, lost both games in 4A Region 1 Friday, ending their season.

No. 1 Lutheran scored 14 runs in the opening inning and didn’t allow a hit in a three-inning 15-0 victory.

No. 16 Palmer Ridge got RBIs from eight different players in a 13-3 win in the second round. Channing Wheeler drove in two and Annali Langenegger had two hits for Boulder in the loss.

Broomfield Eagles

Tattered in the fingerprints of its dynamic freshman class, the eighth-ranked team in 5A bounced back from an 18-3 loss to No. 9 Horizon to beat No. 24 Rock Canyon in advancing out of Region 2 Saturday.

Freshman Lauren Martinez homered and senior Caylie Eiguren drove in three in a 9-2 win over No. 25 Liberty to open the tournament. Following the Eagles’ most lopsided loss of the season, they then got 4 1/3 shutout innings from freshman Ireland Heer and three more RBIs from fellow-frosh Avery Gines in a six-inning 12-2 win over the Jaguars.

This will be their fifth straight trip to the 5A state tournament.

Erie Tigers

Ace Gracie Sackett continued her dominance from the pitching circle, throwing eight no-hit innings over two games as the No. 5 Tigers won the 5A Region 3 title Friday.

Addie Osborne had two hits and drove in four, while Renee Laczkowski had three hits and brought in three in a 14-4 opening-round win over No. 28 Heritage.

Molly Nelson had three hits and drove in three in an 8-2 final over No. 12 Fossil Ridge, stretching the state’s longest winning streak to 21 games.

Frederick Golden Eagles

Makenzie Sais, already among the nation’s leaders in stolen bases this season, was off and running again Friday.

The senior had six hits over two games and the Golden Eagles won 4A Region 3, punching their ticket to the state postseason for a third straight year.


In an 11-6 win over Wheat Ridge in the opening round, Nagy allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings and Avery Salisbury drove in three.

In a 12-2 regional title win over Pueblo West, ace Haley Howell allowed two runs across five innings and drove in four. Nagy drove in three.

Holy Family Tigers

Isabella Arroyo and Emmaline Humphreys dominated inside the circle, Arroyo and Makaila Moosbrugger each hit for the cycle over two games and the No. 2 Tigers breezed through 4A Region 8.

Moosbrugger sent a a two-run shot and Arroyo tripled in a four-inning 13-0 win over No. 31 Falcon, then the roles reversed as each drove in two in a 10-1 win over No. 15 Pueblo County.

Arroyo, the reigning player of the year, allowed three hits in seven combined innings and finished with four RBIs. Freshman Humphreys allowed one unearned run across four frames in her regional debut.

Softball: Holy Family cruises to regional championship

Legacy Lightning

The 20-seed Lightning beat No. 13 Grand Junction Central twice in 5A Region 4 over the weekend to punch their ticket to the state tournament for a seventh straight season.

Ayana Goodwin pitched her way to two wins and drove in five runs in a state qualifying 15-7 win against the Warriors.

Earlier, Kate Walker and Jordyn Heronimus homered in the opening 11-2 victory over GJ Central before the Lightning fell to defending champ No. 4 Legend in the regional title game.

Lyons Lions

Ceci Chiaravalle sent the Lions to the state tournament, striking out 16 in a 6-2 victory over Montezuma-Cortez in 3A Region 5.

Chiaravalle continued her season-long herculean effort in the pitching circle Saturday, allowing just two runs to a high-powered offense from Cortez. The junior has 252 strikeouts this season, second-most in the state.

They lost to No. 2 Brush in the regional title game.

Mead Mavericks

One of the other most dominant pitching lines of the entire regional tournament belonged to Mead’s Joslynn Veltien. The senior threw a combined 12 shutout innings and struck out 17 over two games to lead the No. 7 Mavericks to a 4A Region 7 title.

Veltien allowed two hits through five scoreless innings in an 11-0 win over No. 26 Northridge to open the tournament. Then just five hits across seven sparkling innings in a 3-0 win over No. 10 Golden.

Veltien has allowed just two earned runs over her last 44 innings.

Mary Kathryn Dusza had six RBIs in the tournament.

Peak to Peak Pumas

Sophomore Maggie Wallis homered for one of her three hits, freshman Karina Lefort drove in three and the 22nd-ranked Pumas upset No. 11 Wiley at 3A Region 8 to punch their second straight trip to the state tournament.

Leah Legeer added two hits and two RBIs in the opening-game win. The Pumas lost to No. 6 Fort Lupton in the region final.

Silver Creek Raptors

Senior Delaney Granger ended her high school career with a bang, even as the 27th-ranked Raptors fell in straight games at 4A Region 6.

Granger homered and drove in all her team’s runs in a 9-3 loss to No. 6 Elizabeth. She brought home another run in a 11-4 loss to No. 11 Roosevelt, giving her 29 RBIs to end the season.

Kelly Young also had four hits in the tournament, driving in three.