Cherokee Trail senior Cheyenne Ausborn connects on a two-run home run during the third inning of the Cougars’ 16-9 loss to Legend in the second qualifying game at the Class 5A Region 8 softball tournament played on Oct. 19, 2019, at Columbine High School. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

LITTLETON | Two teams that played for last season’s Class 5A state softball championship had to battle it out Saturday just to decide who would make it back to state.

Cherokee Trail — which lost to Legend in last season’s 5A final — had a chance to get some revenge by preventing the Titans from a chance to go for a third straight title when they met in the second qualifying game in the 5A Region 8 tournament at Columbine High School.

The Cougars cranked out four home runs among 15 hits — two from sophomore Jenna Medhus and one apiece from senior Cheyenne Ausborn and sophomore Ryleigh Cruz — but Legend’s bats were even hotter in a 16-9 victory that sent it to the state tournament as a regional representative along with host and second-seeded Columbine.

Coach Caley Mitchell’s Cherokee Trail team finished the season 14-12 overall.

Medhus couldn’t slow the Titans’ offense as the starting pitcher, so she did what she could offensively to make up for it. She finished 4-for-5 on the day with two homers, four RBI and three runs scored. Senior Adreanna Lance had three hits, Ausborn and junior Abby Rupeka each recorded a pair of hits and Cruz drove in two runs.

To get that chance, Cherokee Trail rebounded from a 10-1 loss to Columbine in the opener with a 6-1 victory 15th-seeded Pomona. Seniors Lance and Hunter Gilbreath each knocked in a pair of runs and senior Ashley Quinn worked 5 1/2 effective innings on the mound before Medhus closed it out.

Only one of Aurora’s three regional qualifiers advance to the state tournament, as Smoky Hill came through the Region 2 tournament it hosted at the Aurora Sports Park and Grandview fell in two close games in Region 6 play at Broomfield.

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


Oct. 19 at Columbine H.S.

Game 1: No. 2 Columbine 10, NO. 31 CHEROKEE TRAIL 1; Game 2: No. 18 Legend 18, No. 15 Pomona 1; Game 3: No. 2 Columbine 5, No. 18 Legend 4 (Columbine qualifies for 5A state tournament); Game 4: NO. 31 CHEROKEE TRAIL 6, No. 15 Pomona 1; Game 5: No. 18 Legend 16, NO. 31 CHEROKEE TRAIL 9 (Legend qualifies for 5A state tournament)