AURORA | The city’s Class 5A softball postseason qualifiers will again go on the road to earn a trip back home.
Both Eaglecrest and Grandview — the top two teams in the Centennial League standings — finished outside of the top eight seeds when the 32-team 5A regional field was issued by the Colorado High School Activities Association Sunday, requiring them to go on the road for action Oct. 12.
Two teams from each of the eight four-team regionals advance to Aurora, where the 5A state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 18-19 at the Aurora Sports Park.
Coach Yvette Hendrian’s 17-2 Eaglecrest team — which rallied past Grandview 6-5 in its regular season finale Oct. 3 — ended up with the No. 9 seed, missing regional hosting duties by one spot. The Raptors, who advanced to the state tournament with the No. 12 seed last season, came into the year ranked No. 1 in the CHSAANow.com coaches/media poll, lost just twice, beat Legend — which got the No. 3 overall seed — and won its second straight league title.
Still, Eaglecrest missed out on a top eight seed and must travel to Brighton, site of the Region 2 tournament, to play No. 24 Chaparral (8-11) in a 10 a.m. contest Oct. 12. It will be a rematch of a Sept. 5 meeting between the teams won by the Raptors 5-3.
The Eaglecrest-Chaparral winner takes on the winner of eighth-seeded Brighton (18-1) and No. 25 Central (G.J.) (12-7). The Raptors beat the Bulldogs at regionals last season to make state.
Grandview (15-4) also has a rematch in store after receiving the No. 11 seed, four spots higher than last season when it advanced to state.
Coach Dave Thies’ Wolves were placed in the Region 6 tournament hosted by Legacy, where they will face No. 22 Arvada West (9-9) — which they beat 6-4 at the Erie Tournament of Champions Aug. 30 — at 10 a.m.
The winner plays the victor between No. 6 Legacy (14-5) and No. 27 Prairie View (13-5) for an automatic state berth.
Cherokee Trail, which also made the state tournament last season, failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time in 10 seasons of varsity softball.
Each regional tournament is double-elimination, as losers of the first game can still play for the second state spot with two straight wins.
2013 CLASS 5A SOFTBALL REGIONALS
REGION 2 (at Brighton Youth Sports Complex)
Game 1: No. 25 Central (G.J.) (12-7-0) vs. No. 8 Brighton (18-1-0), 10 a.m.; Game 2: No. 24 Chaparral (8-11-0) vs. NO. 9 EAGLECREST (17-2), 10 a.m.; Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12:15 p.m.; Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 12:15 p.m. (Winner automatically qualifies for state tournament); Game 5: Loser Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3, 2:30 p.m. (winner qualifies for state)
REGION 6 (Legacy H.S. host)
Game 1: No. 27 Prairie View (13-5-0) vs. No. 6 Legacy (14-5-0), 10 a.m.; Game 2: No. 22 Arvada West (9-9-0) vs. NO. 11 GRANDVIEW (15-4-0), 10 a.m.; Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 12:15 p.m.; Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 12:15 p.m. (Winner automatically qualifies for state tournament); Game 5: Loser Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3, 2:30 p.m. (winner qualifies for state)
Full regional pairings, here.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel