The 2019 South-Central League title will be a fierce battle, and multiple local teams flexed their muscles over the first two weeks of the season, with two of those teams, South and Centennial, beginning with 6-0 starts.
South emerges as the top team in the first Pueblo Preps Power Five softball rankings on 2019.
South, a state quarterfinalist in 2018, has outscored its first six opponents 69-10 behind freshman pitcher Emily Abraham, who at 6-0 with a 0.50 ERA, already looks like the S-CL’s top pitcher. After its early slate of non-league games, all eyes will be upon its Sept. 10 showdown with Pueblo West in the league-opener for both teams.
And speaking of Pueblo West, the Cyclones are slotted into the No. 2 spot in the Pueblo Preps Power Five.
The 2018 S-CL runner-up behind Pueblo County and owners of a 5-1 record thus far in 2019, the Cyclones are one bad inning away from a 6-0 start, its lone loss coming in a 4-3 defeat to 5A Heritage at the Fountain-Fort Carson Invitational last week. Pueblo West has notched wins over three 2018 4A playoff teams (Vista Ridge, Elizabeth and Widefield).
Defending league champ County, which has begun 2019 with a 3-1 mark, sits in the No. 3 hole. Like Pueblo West, its lone loss was to Heritage, wins over 5A squads Fountain-Fort Carson and Denver South to its credit.
Centennial, like South, are 6-0 thus far, but falls in these razor-thin rankings based solely on an arguably weaker strength-of-schedule to start the season. The Bulldogs, facing Mitchell and a depleted Thomas Jefferson team this week, are safe bets to be 8-0 when the S-CL schedule begins Sept. 10.
Falling in at No. 5 this week is Central, a tough spot for a state-tournament team from last season. The Wildcats are 1-0, having rolled Rampart, a 5A playoff team from last season, 14-1 to start its 2019 campaign.
Note on rankings: Power rankings rank local teams across all classifications. As such, 4A teams are generally considered stronger than 3A teams, 3A stronger than 2A, etc.
|2||Pueblo West||4A||5-1||8 (4A)|