Western Slopers unite, and come support CHSAA softball tourney in Grand Junction | PostIndependent.com

Western Slopers unite, and come support CHSAA softball tourney in Grand Junction

Phil Sandoval
Grand Junction Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Marchers and shouters of Western Slope prep athletics: Now’s the time to unite.

And represent.

For years I’ve heard whining and bellyaching from local fans on the Colorado High School Activities Association’s resistance to Grand Junction hosting state playoff events.

Guess What? Somebody in Aurora listened.

On Saturday, both the Class 5A, Region 6 and the Class 4A, Region 2 softball tournaments will take place at Canyon View Park.

Now that the Western Slope’s getting the opportunity to host a big-time event, I’m issuing a challenge to the Slope as a whole to show up.

Yeah, it’s going to cost $7 ($5 for students and seniors, 60 and older) to get in. It’s well worth the cost.

Just be sure to go early, because parking, due to Mesa County Junior Football Association playoff games, surely will be at a premium.

The 4A tournament over at the Bookcliff and Mt. Garfield diamonds have plenty of stars to watch as well.

Rifle, which takes on Montezuma-Cortez at Bookcliff, has a top pitcher in sophomore Alisha Rodebaugh, who’s won 11 of 14 starts with a minute 0.95 earned-run average and 100 strikeouts.

The Panthers, who drop down to 4A after playing against 5A regional qualifiers Central, Fruita and Grand Junction, are led by juniors Jenna Schaak (.362) and Jessie Likes (.350).

Central and Fruita Monument are among the four 5A teams on tap to square off for the two available berths to next week’s state tournament. The Warriors open the double-elimination regional tournament with Cherry Creek. Fruita has drawn Columbine as its first opponent.

Those games start at 10 a.m. at Liberty Cap and Thunder Mountain Fields, respectively. And, if you haven’t seen either or both teams in action this season, you’re in for a treat.

Central, at 17-2, has the second highest win total of all 5A teams. As a squad, the Warriors are one of Colorado’s top hitting clubs. In the regular season, Central complied a .444 team batting average.

Individually, senior Rachel Romine hit a robust .538 that included a school-record nine home runs with 36 RBIs. Her younger sister, Jessica, a sophomore, topped that mark at .569. A third Romine sister, Danielle, checks in at a paltry .426.

If you prefer pitching to offense, the Warriors can definitely satiate your palate.

Between them starters Ashley Goletz and Mikayla Duffy have thrown six no-hitters to date.

Like what you read? Then get up and go.

And, when you arrive, please, please, please display good sportsmanship and root appropriately.

Hey, we’ve gotten this far, folks. Let’s show the whole state (specifically CHSAA) we on the Western Slope can host quality events without a hitch. And be good fans in the process.

Phil Sandoval is the sports editor at the Grand Junction Free Press.

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