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File, The Gazette

First and second rounds are played Friday at Aurora Sports Park. Semifinals and the state championship games will follow Saturday.

CLASS 4A

No. 14 Cheyenne Mountain

Game data: No. 3 Holy Family (23-2) vs. No. 14 Cheyenne Mountain (15-11) … Friday at 12:15 p.m. at Aurora Sports Park. Winner moves on to the 4A quarterfinals against either No. 6 Erie or No. 11 Longmont at 2:30 p.m.

Scouting report: Cheyenne Mountain pulled off an upset in the Region 2 state-qualifying game to punch its ticket to possibly the program’s first state playoff appearance. This Friday the Indians hope to continue that momentum into their first-round clash with No. 3 Holy Family.

The Tigers are hitting .430 as a team, led by freshman Abby Edwards who is batting .473 through 25 games with 24 RBIs, including team-leading three home runs. Noelle Gordon leads Holy Family in the RBI race with 32, batting .380. The team does not have a batter hitting under .300 that has appeared in more than three games.

Erin Caviness is Holy Family’s ace with a 17-1 record and a 2.12 ERA. She has 149 strikeouts through 105.2 innings pitched. Sophomore Cassidy Chvatal is 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA through 12 appearances and has struck out 52 through 36.2 innings.

Cheyenne Mountain, on the other hand, is led by one do-it-all athlete in junior Katelyn Ralston.

Ralston is the team’s top hitter, batting .567 with 35 RBIs and five home runs. She is also slugging 1.104 thanks to 22 of her 38 hits going for extra bases.

Sophomore Grace Gustafson is the Indians’ next top hitter, batting .347 with 22 RBIs. Olivia Unger and Jenna Randall have 16 and 15 RBIs, respectively.

Ralston is also Cheyenne Mountain’s go-to girl in the circle. She racked up a 14-8 record this season with a 2.95 ERA. And with 197 strikeouts this season she averages around nine strikeouts per game.

CLASS 3A

No. 12 St. Mary’s

Game data: No. 5 Faith Christian (19-5) vs. No. 12 St. Mary’s (18-7) … Friday at 10 a.m. at Aurora Sports Park. Winner moves on to the 3A quarterfinals against either No. 4 University or No. 13 Fort Lupton.

Scouting report: St. Mary’s started its postseason journey not missing a beat from their dominant regular-season performance. The Pirates ran over Burlington in a 15-0 opening round-victory before falling to University in the title game.

The road won’t get any easier for St. Mary’s in the opening round of the 3A state tournament as the Pirates will face No. 5 Faith Christian on Friday.

Before falling in the last game of the regular season, Faith Christian won 13 straight games. The Eagles are led by seven batters with 10 or more RBIs on the season, with McKenzie Connor with 36 RBIs, batting .568. Abrianah McGaw is the team’s most consistent hitter with a .677 batting average through 24 games, knocking in 24 RBIs.

Connor is also the Eagles’ top threat in the circle with a 1.31 ERA and a 13-2 record. She’s allowed just 17 earned runs and struck out 102 batters through 90.2 innings pitched. Ashley Evans is 6-1 with a 2.36 ERA.

St. Mary’s had an impressive streak itself, winning 14 straight games in the middle of the season. That streak was led by Peyton Richter who tossed a no-hitter and two shutouts on the way to a 16-5 record and a 2.86 ERA. She is also the team’s second-leading batter with a .493 average and has 36 RBIs.

Mackenzie Pepper is the Pirates’ top batter with a .554 average, but Morgan Trechter has knocked in the most runs with 37.

With an incredibly consistent batting order the Pirates have seven batters with 10 or more RBIs and have a team batting average of .360.

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