Five Western Slope 3A softball teams began the past weekend seeking second-round berths in the 2016 state playoffs. All but Gunnison have advanced past regional competition and are set to participate in this weekend's state tournament held in Aurora.
Basalt's Longhorns were the only WSL team to host a regional bracket last weekend. Cedaredge, Delta, Meeker and Gunnison all traveled to play in state-qualifying regional tournaments.
Basalt (15-5) was the only host team to lose its title game in regional playoffs this past weekend. Sterling, the No. 9 team in Region 8, played the No. 24 team, Gunnison (3-16) in the first round and won 15-3. In the title game, Sterling bumped off the Longhorns, 14-3, and won the Region 8 title. Basalt qualified for state as the second-place team.
Meeker (12-9) defeated No. 17 Limon 12-8 to advance to the title game in Region 1. No. 1 Strasburg (18-2) defeated Meeker 18-0 to win the title.
Cedaredge (15-6) played in Region 7 which was hosted by The Academy School (Westminster). The 10th-seeded Bruins drew number 23 Akron in first round play.
Cedaredge pounded Akron pitching for 20 hits on its way to a 23-8 win. The Bruins committed four errors in the game to five miscues by the Rams.
The Bruins scored 11 runs in the first inning and never looked back, even with a five-run fourth frame from Akron.
Katie Arnold had three hits and three RBIs, including a home run, for the Rams.
Senior Kelsey Stroud had a break-out game for Cedaredge against the Rams. She had three hits in five at bats and scored four times. Two doubles and a home run helped Stroud lead the Bruins with five RBIs in the game. Josie Hiatt finished with four RBIs on four of four hits, including a double and a triple.
Brittney Thliveris was 2-4, scored three times and hit a home run helping her knock in four runs.
Lacey Rodriguez had a triple and a home run for the Bruins in a two-RBI day. Rodriguez (3-1) was also the winning pitcher for Cedaredge.
In the title game for Region 7, Brittany Kendall was solid for four innings while in the circle. The Bruins' defense gave up one run in the first inning and had two runs scored against them in the fifth and another four in the sixth. Kendall was saddled with her third loss on the season against seven wins.
Kambry Hall had a double in three at bats and scored the Bruins' only run. Stroud was also one for three in the contest.
Cedaredge softball coach Matt Hall was well pleased with his team's performance over the weekend. "My favorite moment was when Brittney Thliveris hit a home run giving at least one homer for each of my five seniors. Ironically, before the last week of regular season, we only had two home runs, both by junior Katie Hyke, and both inside the park homers.
"Everybody hit the ball really well against Akron. Not so much against The Academy. Our only run came in the sixth inning that started with a double from Kambry (Hall), who then advanced to third on a fielders' choice by Josie Hiatt, and then scored on a passed ball."
Delta was totally successful in its first game on Saturday against Fort Lupton. The Panthers' 15-hit attack was led by home run hitters Jenna Sutliff (10th), Lily Lockhart (17th) and Saydee Culver (1st). Each had three RBIs in the game. Sutliff scored four times and had a double to go with her home run. Culver scored four times with a double and Lockhart scored twice with a double.
Sami Lane scored three times and had a double and an RBI.
Lockhart picked up her 10th win with four innings of work in which she gave up two hits and one run while striking out seven Bluedevils.
Delta's lone hit against Rocky Ford was from Lockhart. The Meloneers' are 19-1 and lead Class 3A standings followed by Strasburg, Eaton, The Academy, Basalt, Brush and Cedaredge, with Delta listed 12th.
Delta coach Steve Reiher was impressed by Selena Medina's performance on Saturday. Her 16 wins lead all pitchers in Class 3A. "She (Medina) was impressive. We caught her at a wrong time. We failed to make adjustments. It's good to be going to the big show though. I'm proud of the girls."