ARUROA — It'll be Eaglecrest vs. Fossil Ridge and Legacy vs. Legend in the Class 5A softball semifinals on Saturday.
The four teams each advanced with two victories during the first day of the 5A state tournament on Friday.
Semifinal games begin at 10 a.m., with the championship slated for 1:30 p.m.
Eaglecrest rolls into semis behind offensive output
Eaglecrest jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning of its quarterfinal game with Pomona and never looked back. The Raptors won 15-1 to advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive season.
Kailey Wilson hit a two-run home run, and Eaglecrest had consistent scoring outputs in the second (five runs), third (three) and fourth (three) innings.
"They're hungry. They want it. And they're working hard. They've worked so hard, and they've been so fun this year," coach Yvette Hendrian said. "If we can keep our bats hot, we'll be alright."
The top-seeded Raptors are now 22-1 this season.
"We're in a good spot. It's not pressure anymore," Hendrian said. "We know what have. We know what we can do. We've played under pressure a couple of times, and we've managed to get out of it. We know how to find ways to win. They know that and as long as they believe that and know that, we're good."
To reach the quarterfinals, Eaglecrest beat Rocky Mountain 12-2, and Pomona beat Brighton 7-6 on a walk-off earlier Friday.
Fossil Ridge reaches fifth-consecutive semifinal
Fossil Ridge continued its amazing streak of semifinal appearances, reaching the round of four for the fifth consecutive season.
In the quarterfinals on Friday, the fourth-seeded Sabercats jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Columbine after two innings, and eventually won 4-1 to reach the semis.
"I'm almost speechless," coach Dave Philop said after the game. "This group has done it five years in a row. I can't believe it."
Fossil Ridge and Eaglecrest played earlier in the year, with Eaglecrest winning 7-2.
"We feel a chance to have a rematch with them, we're looking forward to it," Philop said. "We've played them, and we know how good they are, but we also think that we play in one of the better leagues in the state, and so we feel like we're battle-tested."
To advance to the quarterfinals, Fossil Ridge rallied to beat Grand Junction Central 13-9, and Columbine beat Douglas County 2-1 with a walk-off hit.
Legend edges Arvada West to advance
Hailee Swanson hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, and No. 10 Legend beat No. 2 Arvada West 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
It gave Legend its first trip to the semifinals since 2013. The team had lost in the first round of the state tournament each of the past three seasons.
"It's trying to create a new history for us," coach Kristen Shirk said.
Against Arvada West, Legend scored what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning.
"We were just going base-by-base, playing as a team, and that's all we're looking for," Shirk said.
As for the gameplan for the semifinals?
"Bring the energy, the same energy we did today," Shirk said, "and keep hitting the crap out of the ball."
To advance to the quarterfinals, Legend beat Cherry Creek 16-3, while Arvada West beat Mountain Vista 5-3.
Legacy beats Loveland to move on
Legacy's offense slowly added to its lead as the game went on, and the third-seeded Lightning eventually beat No. 6 Loveland 7-2.
It is the first time Legacy has advanced to the semifinals since 2013, when they won the 5A title.
"They have been working towards this since August 25th, when we set our mission statement," Legacy coach Dawn Gaffin said. "They have just been wanting to get here. It's been like pulling the reigns back on them."
It'll be another rematch in the semifinals. Legacy beat Legend 8-6 on Sept. 1.
"That doesn't mean anything," Gaffin said. "We're going to have to come with it."
Earlier Friday, Legacy beat ThunderRidge 10-4 in the first round, while Loveland topped Prairie View 3-0.