The varsity softball team was selected as the 21st seed in the 32-team 4A regional playoffs to take place this Saturday. The Bears will first face Thomas Jefferson in a 10 a.m. game at Lutz Sports Complex in Arvada.
Thomas Jefferson comes into the game as the 12th seed with a 17-2 record, having won the 5A/4A Denver Prep League with an 8-0 league record. The Spartans have a team batting average of .482 with five starters hitting over .500 on the season. They have also clubbed 24 home runs on the season, including 8 by junior Zoey Robbins who also pitches for the Spartans.
Rifle’s batting average, while not as impressive as Thomas Jefferson’s, is a solid .349 with a .464 on-base percentage. Six hitters are currently hitting above .350 for the Bears: junior Peyton Caldwell (.491), sophomore Shaeley Arneson (.418), sophomore Kaitlyn Jackson (.418), sophomore Amanda Green (.412), freshman Delaney Phillips (.404), and sophomore Kaitlyn Harris (.358).
One area where Rifle might have a slight edge is pitching where Jackson has thrived this season with a 1.89 earned run average and 111 strikeouts on the season. The Spartans top pitcher Robbins has a 3.08 ERA with 93 strikeouts.
Rifle has also shown some good team speed, stealing 72 bases on the season with three players in double digits: Claudia Abbott (10), Green (10), Phillips (23). The Spartans have two players in double digits: Jaelyn Jackson (13) and Sydney Thompson (10).
The other two teams in the 4-team bracket that will also be playing at 10 a.m. Saturday are fifth-seeded Wheat Ridge and 28-seed Pueblo Centennial. The winners of the 10 a.m. games will face each other at 12:15 as well as the two losers at 12:15. There will be a final game between the two teams that each have one loss at 2:30 to determine the second team that will move on to the 16-team state tournament to be played in Aurora on Oct. 21-22.