Playoff push heats up for preps
The final push for state playoff berths for area prep teams in girls softball and boys soccer begins as their regular season wraps up this week.
Rifle’s softball team ended its regular season with a 6-4 loss to Palisade on Saturday. Now the Bears will have to wait until Wednesday to see what seed they will receive for Saturday’s District 13 playoffs.
Depending on the outcome of three rain make-up games between Montrose, Palisade and Delta, the Bears (8-11 overall, 0-4 league) could be either the No. 3 or 4 seed at Saturday’s tournament at Kronkright Softball Complex in Grand Junction.
If the Bears earn the No. 3 seed, they play the No. 2 seed of the five-team tournament at 9 a.m. The winner of that game advances to the regional playoffs.
The fourth-seeded has a tougher route toward obtaining one of the two available regional berths. The team plays the No. 5 team at 9 a.m., then plays top-seeded Delta at 1 p.m. for the last regional spot.
Rifle coach Troy Phillips said the Bears are getting better as a team.
“Pitching is the most important part of the game,” the coach said. “If a pitcher gets hot, that team can win some games.”
Trisha Wales is Rifle’s No. 1 hurler. In 13 starts, the sophomore has a 6-7 win-loss record. She will be backed up by senior Kari Wiig.
The regular season concludes on Saturday for all area soccer teams.
Rifle finishes up with a 4 p.m. home match today with Moffat County, followed by a match at Paonia against Delta County at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Basalt (9-2, 8-0) has clinched the Class 3A Western Slope League title and receive a first-round state playoff bye.
Glenwood Springs (6-7, 4-6) must win Tuesday’s game against Delta County at 6 p.m. at Paonia High School plus Saturday’s, 11 a.m. home finale with Battle Mountain to be in the running for third place and the league’s final playoff spot.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.