Central to host regional sotball tourney
Not only does Central get to host one of the eight 5A region tournaments but it gets to do it against some familiar faces.
The Warriors (17-2) will be the host team of the Region 6 double elimination tournament at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Canyon View Park. Cherry Creek (10-9), Columbine (10-9) and Fruita Monument (12-6) as the three other teams fighting for two state qualifier spots.
“We are pretty excited getting the chance to host it,” Central coach Sabrina Juarez said. “Getting the six seed is a big thing but we earned it by playing well this season.”
Central began the season with a 5-4 win over Columbine in the Peach Fuzz tournament and has played Southwestern League foe Fruita Monument twice defeating the Wildcats 4-0, 4-1.
“We know Fruita and we have seen Columbine,” Juarez said. “But (Columbine) has Kelsey O’Brien back and she is a great pitcher.”
Cherry Creek will be the Warriors opening round opponent and finished the year fourth in the Centennial League. Juarez said she doesn’t know much about the Bruins only having a chance to see them play at the Dave Saunders Tournament earlier this season.
Regardless, Juarez said the Warriors will be approaching the regional tournament the same way they have approached every game this season.
“We have to go out and play great games,” Juarez said. “Our big goal is to always score in the first inning.”
Fruita Monument earned the SWL’s second spot and will take on Columbine who the Wildcats defeated earlier this season 4-2. The Wildcats finished the regular season with only two league losses both coming to Central.
The Wildcats didn’t let the midseason coaching change affect their sesason, as they ended winning eight out of 10 games.
Grand Junction (14-4) earned one of the five at large bids in coach Adam Diaz’s first year and will be traveling to Denver to play in the Region 2 tournament with Chaparral (15-4), Standley Lake (11-8) and the Tigers’ first round opponent Liberty (15-4).
With the Tigers being the third team out of the Southwestern League to make it, Juarez said it says a lot about the softball on the Western Slope.
“That was huge that Junction got in because that show that the Western Slope is here to play,” Juarez said. “Hopefully we will have a great showing and great three teams over to state.”
In the 4A bracket, Rifle (15-4) is hosting the Region 2 tournament Saturday at Canyon View Park. The Bears will be taking on Montezuma-Cortez (8-11) in the first game with Castle View (16-3) and Delta (10-9) rounding out the bracket.