Cherokee Trail’s Ryleigh Cruz, right, greets Cayman Lightner (1) as she scores a run on a Chiara Pryor hit during the sixth inning of the Cougars’ 6-2 win over Eaglecrest in a Centennial League Challenge softball matchup on Sept. 29, 2020, at Cherokee Trail High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | It felt a bit like Groundhog Day for Jenna Medhus and the Cherokee Trail softball team Tuesday to open the Centennial League Challenge tournament.

The Cougars were fortunate to win both games of a doubleheader at home Saturday against a gritty Eaglecrest team, which lo and behold ended up as their first round opponent on the same field just three days later.

Cherokee Trail (12-2) found itself down early against the Raptors (3-11), but rallied back and got some insurance late in a 6-2 victory that moved coach Caley Mitchell’s team along into the semifinals of the season-ending league tournament. Junior Caitlin Cushenbery and freshman Chiara Pryor each knocked in a pair of runs for the Cougars.

Next up for the Cougars is a 4:15 p.m. Thursday home contest against third-seeded Arapahoe, which topped No. 6 Grandview 14-6 in its opener. Cherokee Trail — which posted wins of 9-3 and 7-2 against Arapahoe in the league season — is hoping to get another shot against top-seeded Smoky Hill (14-0), which moved into the semifinals with a 17-0 win against No. 8 Overland.

The Buffaloes have a 4:15 p.m. home game against No. 4 Cherry Creek (5-8), a 7-0 winner over No. 5 Mullen.

In the consolation bracket, the Raptors will be at home at 4:15 p.m. Thursday against Grandview (4-10) looking to avenge two losses to the Wolves in league play, while the Trailblazers (2-12) play host to the Mustangs (4-9) at 4:15 p.m.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

Cherokee Trail 6, Eaglecrest 2

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Eaglecrest  200 000 0 — 2  5  2

Cher. Trail  102 003 x — 6  7  0

WP — Cherokee Trail: Jenna Medhus (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 B, 5 K). LP — Eaglecrest: Alex Hendrian. Eaglecrest hitting: Sadie Runia 2 hits; Alex Hendrian RBI. Cherokee Trail hitting: Caitlin Cushenbery 2-3, 2 RBI; Cayman Lightner 2-3, run; Chiara Pryor 2B, 2 RBI

2020 CENTENNIAL LEAGUE CHALLENGE

Sept. 29: No. 1 Smoky Hill 17, No. 8 Overland 0; No. 2 Cherokee Trail 6, No. 7 Eaglecrest 2; No. 3 Arapahoe 14, No. 6 Grandview 6; No. 4 Cherry Creek 7, No. 5 Mullen 0

Oct. 1: Championship bracket — No. 4 Cherry Creek at No. 1 Smoky Hill, 4:15 p.m.; No. 3 Arapahoe at No. 2 Cherokee Trail, 4:15 p.m.; Consolation bracket — No. 5 Mullen at No. 8 Overland, 4:15 p.m.; No. 6 Grandview at No. 7 Eaglecrest, 4:15 p.m.

Oct. 3: Matchups TBD

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