AURORA — One thing is for sure when the winning team hoists the Class 5A state softball trophy Saturday at Aurora Sports Park.
It will be a first for somebody.
None of the four teams remaining have ever won a state softball champions in the program’s history. Top-seed Fossil Ridge and No. 4 Castle View square off in one semifinal. No. 6 Grandview and No. 7 Broomfield face each other in the other semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday at Aurora Sports Park.
The winners are schedule to play in the title game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. See the full bracket here.
“That No. 1 seed doesn’t scare me,” Castle View coach Caley Mitchell said after her squad advanced into the semifinals with a 1-0 victory against Eaglecrest late Friday afternoon. “It’s going to be Sabercat versus Sabercat.”
Castle View moved on thanks largely because of its senior Savannah Heebner. The 6-foot pitcher allowed just two hits in the Sabercats’ 11-1 victory in the opening round Friday morning against Pine Creek.
Heebner then won a pitching duel a few hours later with Eaglecrest’s ace Alexa Romero. Heebner threw a complete-game shutout allowing just three hits and striking out 10 batters in a 1-0 victory. Castle View’s lone run came in the first inning when junior Kayla Gau’s double drove in sophomore Lexi Kagan.
“She (Heebner) was fired up to play this game,” Mitchell said. “Last year we lost in the first round so our goal this year to make it here and we did. She gets better as she throws longer.”
Castle View had high hopes last year going into the state tournament, but Eaglecrest bounced the Sabercats out in the first round with a 5-4 victory.
“It is our time. Our school motto this year is ‘Our Time’. I believe in that 100 percent,” said Heebner, who has committed to play at the University of Houston next year. “I believe we are going to go all the way.”
Fossil Ridge shut out Arvada West 2-0 in the opening round and then got hot with the bats against Douglas County in the quarterfinals. Fossil Ridge took a 9-5 win to advance to Saturday.
Grandview cruised through into the semifinals with dominating wins against Chaparral and Columbine. While, Broomfield had the most interesting two games having to score double-digit runs against Central of Grand Junction and Horizon to survive.
“That is our thing. Our girls can hit the ball,” Broomfield coach Paula Seifried said after a wild 11-9 victory against Horizon in the quarterfinals.
The Eagles took a 6-0 lead, but gave up eight runs to Horizon in the top of the fourth inning to fall behind 8-6. Broomfield rallied to regain the lead, but the Hawks wouldn’t go do without a fight.
Horizon tied the game at 9-9 going to the bottom of the sixth inning. Broomfield senior Kenzie Brock drove in the eventual-game winning run.
Class 4A tournament
A lot of familiar faces and usual suspects advanced into the 4A semifinals.
Defending state champion and No. 4 Wheat Ridge squeezed out a pair of one-run victories against Air Academy and Discovery Canyon to keep the Farmers’ hopes for a repeat alive.
Wheat Ridge faces top-seeded Frederick in one semifinal Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The Warriors got victories over D’Evelyn and Ponderosa on Friday.
No. 2 Valor Christian got back Niwot and Mullen to advance into the state semifinal for the first time in the program’s history. The Eagles get 11-time state champion Erie in the other 4A softball at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Class 3A tournament
No surprises on the 3A side.
The top four seeds advanced to Saturday. No. 1 Strasburg, No. 2 Valley, No. 3 La Junta and No. 4 Sterling will battle it out Saturday.
Defending state champion Strasburg has to beat league rival Sterling for the third time this season to advance to the state championship game. The previous two meeting were one-run victories.
Valley, who also has two losses to Strasburg this season, squares off against La Junta in the other semifinal.