Central, Fruita Monument earn right to host regionals

The Central and Fruita Monument high school softball teams might not have been happy having to share the Southwestern League title, but the tie for first place paid dividends for both.

Each team is the top seed in its respective bracket in regional tournaments Saturday, and both teams will play at home.

The Colorado High School Activities Association on Sunday released the pairings for Saturday’s Class 5A and Class 4A regional tournaments, and Central and Fruita Monument will play at Canyon View Park.

Central is the No. 2 seed overall; Legacy (16-0-1) is the top seed in the tournament.

“I thought we should be seeded second but I thought we would be seeded fourth,” Central coach Scott Else said.

The Warriors (18-1) take on 31st-seeded Grandview in the first round. Pine Creek and Poudre are the other Region 8 tournament qualifiers.

“I thought what really helped us (get a high seed) was playing in that Brighton tournament,” Else said.

After winning that tournament, Central had defeated six teams that had been ranked in the top 10 at the time.

Fruita Monument is the top seed in Region 2 and the eighth seed overall in the 32-team bracket. The Wildcats (17-2) play 25th-seededs Ponderosa.

Grand Junction (14-5), which is the 24th seed overall, is also in the Region 2 bracket. The Tigers play No. 9 Green Mountain.

All four first-round games at Canyon View Park are at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Fruita Monument coach Jamie Dunn said the seedings aren’t important now.

“Everybody’s 0-0,” Dunn said.

What is important is that the Wildcats get to play at home.

“I’m excited to be hosting,” she said. “That’s a huge advantage for us.”

The first-round winners face each other at 12:30 p.m., as do the first-round losers.

The consolation finals are at 3 p.m., with the winners joining the regional champions in the state tournament the next weekend.

Else said the three other teams in his brackets pose a challenge.

“We’ve still got to take care of business,” he said.

Palisade, which finished second in the Western Slope League, is the 29th seed in the Class 4A regional bracket. The Bulldogs (13-5-1) play fourth-seeded Niwot at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Garden Acres Park in Loveland.

Delta, which won the WSL, is the 18th seed. It joins Montrose, the top 4A finisher from the Southwestern League, at the Region 8 tournament in Loveland.

Delta plays No.15 Broomfield; Montrose faces second seed Windsor. Both games are at 10 a.m.


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