Pueblo Central and Pueblo South head north for Class 4A state softball tournament
The Colorado High School Activities Association released the final rankings and the bracket for the Class 4A state softball tournament late Sunday night.
Pueblo Central High School earned a spot in the 16-team field thanks to winning the South-Central League title, the school’s first in the sport since 2009.
Pueblo South also qualified for the state tournament with a 12-4 overall record and an 8-2 mark in league, good enough for second place.
Due to modifications concerning COVID-19, no regionals will be played this year, leaving the CHSAA to decide on a 16-team field for state.
League winners received automatic bids, and those included Pueblo Central, Wheat Ridge (Jeffco), Holy Family (NCAC), Riverdale Ridge (Longs Peak), Palisade (Western Slope), Elizabeth (Colorado Springs North), Mesa Ridge (Colorado Springs South), Northfield (Denver Prep) and Air Academy (Pikes Peak).
That left seven spots for the next highest ranked teams, which Pueblo South was the last to qualify behind D’Evelyn, Mead, Silver Creek, Roosevelt, Conifer and Frederick.
For the first time, the CHSAA used a newly created “seeding index” to determine the field which consists of a team’s rank in the coaches poll, MaxPreps and the RPI. Previously, only the RPI was used.
Pueblo Central finished ranked No. 11 across the index and Pueblo South finished No. 12, which also ended up being their seeds for the state tournament.
The state tournament itself saw changes as well announced from the CHSAA.
The original plan was to play the entire tournament on Oct. 10 at the Aurora Sports Park, but instead, the first two rounds will be played at local high schools of the higher seeded squad on Oct. 6 or 7 for the first round and Oct. 8 for all quarterfinal matchups.
Aurora Sports Park will host the semifinals and final on Oct. 10.
Being the No. 11 seed, Pueblo Central will head north to take on No. 6 Silver Creek at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in Longmont.
No. 12 Pueblo South will also adventure north as they play No. 5 Riverdale Ridge at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Thornton.
If the Wildcats win, they would play the winner of the matchup between No. 3 Holy Family and No. 14 Mesa Ridge at a time to be determined Thursday. Pueblo Central would host with a win by the Grizzlies and would be on the road at Holy Family if the Tigers win.
For Pueblo South, the Colts would face either No. 4 Mead or No. 13 Palisade in the second round Thursday. The Colts would be back up north if the Mavericks win but would host with a win by the Bulldogs.
Pueblo West was also looking to qualify for the state tournament, but fell a bit short.
The Cyclones final ranking wasn’t disclosed by the CHSAA, but they finished No. 17 in the final RPI rankings, No. 18 on MaxPreps, but didn’t receive any points in the final coaches poll.
Chieftain sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at twitter.com/ajw_sports. Help support local journalism with a subscription to the Chieftain at chieftain.com/subscribenow.