Seven Pikes Pike region prep softball teams qualify for regionals, all on the road

0
Photo - Pine Creek's Gerilyn Martinez slides into second base during the Pine Creek and Rampart softball game at Pine Creek High School on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette
Pine Creek's Gerilyn Martinez slides into second base during the Pine Creek and Rampart softball game at Pine Creek High School on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

The St. Mary's softball team is on a roll.

The Pirates have won five in a row. On Sept. 24, they beat La Junta for the first time in the 17 years the teams have been going head to head.

On Monday, they were named to the Class 3A postseason.

They get a familiar foe in Faith Christian in 3A regional play and are hoping maybe they can stay on that hot roll by beating a team they've lost to three times in two seasons.

"The odds say that maybe something will happen," Pirates coach Dave Hyland said.

St. Mary's was one of seven Pikes Peak region softball teams to qualify Monday for regional play.

No. 31 Liberty and No. 30 Pine Creek are in at 5A, while No. 13 Discovery Canyon, No. 10 Air Academy, No. 24 Falcon and No. 31 Canon City made it in 4A.

All regional games are slated for Saturday.

The top 32 5A and 4A teams according to the RPI (the first season it has been used for softball) qualified for the postseason, though a number of guaranteed berths were reserved. Included among those reserved spots were the top two from the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League. That's why Pine Creek and Liberty got in. Pine Creek was No. 33 in the final RPI and Liberty, the league champ, was No. 34.

The top 24 teams according to the RPI qualified in 3A.

St. Mary's, seeded No. 19, travels to Eaton to take on No. 14 Faith Christian. Last season, the Eagles knocked out St. Mary's at Strasburg.

"I was kind of looking forward to playing somebody else, because we played them in the regular season and we got them last postseason," Hyland said. "I've kind of had enough of them. But we do know them and enjoy playing them, and the games have been getting closer."

The Thunder, despite sweeping the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference including a win over Air Academy, head south to take on No. 20 Pueblo County at Region 4, hosted by No. 4 Pueblo West.

Discovery Canyon coach Tanya Ramsay had no problem being seeded behind a team the Thunder beat.

"I think it's pretty accurate," Ramsay said about the rating system. "I think we're right about where we should be."

No. 31 Liberty (13-6), the 5A CSML champion, heads all the way to the Western Slope where No. 2 Grand Junction Central (16-2-1) will host Region 8.

Lancers coach Astrid McGill was disappointed her squad wasn't higher by at least one spot since they won the league. But she said the Lancers will make the most of the trek, driving out Friday.

The Lancers won their first league crown since 2010.

"I'm very excited that even if we are traveling that far, we definitely have that time to get some bonding in, get some fun in," McGill said.