Rifle Bears softball team earns No. 11 seed in 4A playoffs
One year after putting up the best season in program history, the 2019 Rifle Bears’ softball team topped that feat, breaking the school record for wins in a single season, while also claiming an impressive fourth straight league championship under veteran head coach Troy Phillips.
Thanks to that success, the Bears earned the No. 11 seed in the 4A state playoffs, which open Saturday. Rifle travels to Longmont Saturday to take on No. 22 Widefield in the first round.
The Bears clinched their fourth straight league championship on Sept. 18 and then set their sights on setting a new school record for wins. The 18th win of the year came on Oct. 11 over Meeker on the road.
Now, the Bears are looking for a deep run into the state playoffs.
Last season, after winning 17 games, the Bears were knocked out of the regional playoffs thanks to two consecutive losses to Mountain View and Evergreen. However, Rifle did beat Mesa Ridge, so there’s an understanding of how to win in the playoffs.
This season, the Bears will face off with No. 22 Widefield on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Widefield comes into the regional playoff game with a record of 15-8, including a mark of 6-1 in the 4A Colorado Springs Metro League, where the Gladiators finished second to Mesa Ridge on the year.
The winner of Rifle-Widefield will take on the winner of No. 6 Silver Creek-No. 27 Air Academy Saturday afternoon at 12:15 p.m.
Rifle is led offensively by senior Delaney Phillips, who hit a team-high .689 on the year, scoring a school-record 54 runs. Sophomore Emma Poole hit .524 on the year with 33 runs batted in on the year, while freshman Hailey Worton hit .493 with 23 runs batted in.
Senior Zoe Loya and senior Hannah Bodrogi led the Bears in RBIs with 37 and 34, respectively, while Phillips led the Bears in steals with a school-record 55.
Bodrogi should get the start on the mound for the Bears. The senior went 14-4 on the year with a 5.95 ERA, striking out 31 in 75.1 innings of work.
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