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Road trips ahead for Bears, Rams

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson
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Rifle and Roaring Fork will be hitting the road for playoff games later this week.

The Bears, who finished third in the Class 4A Western Slope League, were seeded 26th in the 32-team state tournament.

They open postseason play at No. 7 Silver Creek in Longmont. The Raptors concluded the regular season in a three-way tie in the Northern League with fellow first-round playoff entries Niwot and Broomfield.



All first-round playoff games, according to the Colorado High School Activities Association, must be played on or before Wednesday, May 10. The date and time of the Rifle-Silver Creek match will be released later this week.

The two teams enter the postseason on opposite sites of the spectrum. Rifle, after securing their playoff berth on victories over Delta County and Moffat County, fell 5-1 to Steamboat in Wednesday’s league finale.



Silver Creek is on a five-game winning streak. The bulk of the Raptors’ offense comes from two players: Danielle Figiola has scored 17 goals with six assists, and teammate Erin Gunther has 10 goals and eight assists to date.

If Rifle opts to center in on those players, Kate Russell, a seven goal scorer, and Marinne Burnham, who’s netted six goals with eight assists, are additional threats.

Lauren Wolfinger, Silver Creek’s No. 1 goalie, has been in the nets for all 11 of the Raptors’ wins this year. In 970 minutes played, she’s recorded 10 shutouts, allowing a mere four goals with 49 saves.

Sophomore Chelsea Webb led Rifle with nine goals and three assists. Bears’ goalie Kadie LaRocque has won eight games this year, including three shutouts.

Should Rifle defeat Silver Creek, they could face Steamboat, again on the road, in the second round. The WSL champion Sailors, who finished 12-2-1, host Evergreen.

League runner-up Battle Mountain (13-1-1) matches up with Colorado Springs Liberty (7-5-3) for the first round. That match will be played in Eagle-Vail.

Roaring Fork travels to Grand Junction for play in the Class 3A, Region 2 baseball tournament Saturday. They drew Bishop Machebeuf from the Denver Metro League as their opponent.

Those games are tentatively scheduled for Canyon View Park.

If the Rams win, they face the winner of the Olathe-Manitou Springs semifinal, at 3 p.m. The winner of that game advances to next weekend’s 3A state tournament at Hobbs Field in Pueblo.

The 10-10 Rams moved into the playoffs with an 8-3 win over Basalt in the district semifinals last weekend at Paonia. Kyle Raaflaub pitched a complete-game victory, holding the Longhorns to four hits while striking out eight.

Jake Bowman had three of the Rams’ nine hits in the contest, including a home run. Leadoff batter Adam Joiner added two singles and scored three runs in four plate appearances.

Games must be played by Wednesday, May 10

– Rifle (8-6-1) at Silver Creek (11-2-2)

Saturday, May 13, at Canyon View Park, Grand Junction

– Olathe (17-4) vs. Manitou Springs (13-7), 10 a.m.

– Roaring Fork (10-10) vs. Bishop Machebeuf (19-4), 12:30 p.m.

– Semifinal winners advance to championship game, 3 p.m


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