Senior Brooke Scott and the Cherokee Trail softball team qualified for the Class 5A state softball tournament with a win over Rocky Mountain in the final game of the 5A Region 3 tournament on Oct. 16, 2021, at Legacy High School. (File photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

THORNTON | The Cherokee Trail softball team played for the Class 5A state championship last fall and will have the chance to possibly do it again after earnings its way into the state tournament field again.

With two victories Saturday in the Region 3 tournament hosted by Legacy High School — capped by an 8-7 victory over Rocky Mountain — coach Caley Mitchell’s Cougars grabbed one of the two available spots in the 16-team field scheduled to play Oct. 22-23 at the Aurora Sports Park.

Twelfth-seeded Cherokee Trail’s admission to the state tournament came via two victories over No. 21 Rocky Mountain sandwiched around a loss to host and fifth-seeded Legacy.

The Cougars defeated the Lobos 10-7 in in the opening contest of the day with the help of four RBI from sophomore Addison Krei in addition to three hits apiece from seniors Brooke Scott and CC Cushenbery, while sophomore Cayman Lightner and junior Alyssa Fullmer split pitching duties in the victory.

Senior Jaelyn Martinez had two hits and drive in both runs in Cherokee Trail’s 7-2 loss to Legacy with the first state tournament berth at stake. The Lightning topped the Cougars 15-5 just nine days earlier in a rescheduled non-league contest, but Cherokee Trail closed the gap a bit in the rematch.

Rocky Mountain earned a rematch with the Cougars in the final game of the day and the Lobos actually had a 6-3 lead through the first 3 1/2 innings, but Cherokee Trail scored five times in its final three at-bats to take the lead and held on to advance.

Lightner — who had two hits and drove in two runs — and Fullmer again split pitching duties, while senior Ryleigh Cruz led a 14-hit attack with three hits, while Cushenbery also had a pair and freshman Dayana Miller plated a pair of runs.

Cherokee Trail joined Smoky Hill as Aurora’s 5A state qualifiers, as the Buffaloes also needed three games to advance out of the Region 6 tournament at the Aurora Sports Park, which they did with a 10-3 victory over Fruita Monument.

Eaglecrest nearly made it a trio of Centennial League teams at state, but lost to Castle View in Region 5’s final game in Fort Collins.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


Oct. 16 at Legacy H.S.

Cherokee Trail 10, Rocky Mountain 7

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Rocky Mtn.  010 410 1 —   7   9  2

Cher. Trail   311 401 x — 10  11  2

Cherokee Trail hitting: Addison Krei 4 RBI; CC Cushenbery 3 hits; Brooke Scott 3 hits

Legacy 7, Cherokee Trail 2

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Cher. Trail  001 000 1 — 2   3  3

Legacy       220 003 x — 7  11  1

Cherokee Trail hitting: Jaelyn Martinez 2 hits, 2 RBI

Cherokee Trail 8, Rocky Mountain 7

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Rocky Mtn.  130 201 0 — 7   2  1

Cher. Trail   300 122 x — 8  14  5

Cherokee Trail hitting: Ryleigh Cruz 3 hits; Cayman Lightner 2 hits, 2 RBI; Dayana Miller 2 RBI; CC Cushenbery 2 hits