5A softball: Grand Junction Central's bats lead it to the semifinals

State softball Grand Junction Central

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — Grand Junction Central, a No. 10 seed, smashed its way into the Class 5A softball semifinals by scoring a combined 23 runs over two games.

The Warriors beat Broomfield 17-2 in the first round on Friday morning, then followed it with a 6-2 win over No. 15 Regis Jesuit in the afternoon.

In that first-round win, Grand Junction Central pushed across the 17 runs on 30 hits, including four home runs.

To beat Regis Jesuit in the quarterfinals, the Warriors scored six runs in the first two innings, including a home run from Trinity Santiago.

Regis Jesuit had upset No. 2 Fossil Ridge 3-2 in nine innings in the first round.

(12) Loveland 6, (4) Rock Canyon 5

State softball Loveland Rock Canyon

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Loveland had two gritty wins on Friday to punch its ticket to the semifinals.

The Indians knocked off No. 5 Arvada West 2-1 in eight innings thanks to an RBI single from Allison Westbrook:

Then, in the second game, Loveland rallied from down 4-0 to beat No. 4 Rock Canyon 6-5.

Rock Canyon beat Smoky Hill on a walk-off two run home run in the first round.

(1) Cherokee Trail 19, (8) Ralston Valley 9

State softball Cherokee Trail

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Cherokee Trail, the top seed, survived a scare with Chatfield in the first round, and then powered its way through a quarterfinal matchup with Ralston Valley.

The Cougars trailed No. 16 Chatfield 2-1 in the fourth inning, but used a two-run fourth of its own to take a 3-2 lead it never relinquished.

Against Ralston Valley in the quarterfinals, Cherokee Trail again rallied, this time from down 3-0 in the first inning. By the end of the second, the Cougars had led 5-3, and pushed it to 6-3 after three.

But Ralston Valley didn't go quietly. The Mustangs tied the game at 6 in the top of the fourth — only to see Cherokee Trail explore for a six-run fourth inning and take a 12-6 lead.

Ralston Valley beat Eaglecrest 7-6 on a walk-off hit in the first round.

(6) Legend 6, (3) Legacy 1

State softball Legend team

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

Legend, the defending champion, used a hot start in the quarterfinals to make a return trip to the semis.

The Titans raced out to a 4-0 lead over Legacy after the first inning and never looked back en route to the win.

To advance to the quarterfinals, Legend edged No. 11 Columbine 5-4.

Legacy beat Castle View 8-7 in the first round.