It’s strange to think Holy Family, winners of three of the last four Class 4A titles, would need a statement win to prove itself as a legitimate state contender this fall.

But whatever you want to call the previous week for the Tigers — beating 4A No. 7 Mead, No. 2 Windsor and 5A No. 4 Chatfield — it was not only a successful stretch for the defending champs, but a run that should have the rest of the classification like, ‘Oh no, not again’.

In those wins for Holy Family, junior standout Kaylee McDonald went a ridiculous 9 for 11 from the plate, totaling three hits in each of Holy Family’s wins while driving in another three. But the main power surge has come from the mound, as it usually does for title-driven programs, where Emmaline Humphreys and Isabella Arroyo shut down the high-producing offenses of the Mavericks, Chargers and Wizards.

In that span, the pitching duo combined to allow just two earned runs over 21 innings. Dominating in a No. 2 vs. 3 matchup Tuesday at Windsor, Humphreys gave up one run in her four-inning start and Arroyo didn’t allow a hit in three frames to close the 7-1 victory.

(The Wizards had made a giant statement earlier in the month when it handed No. 1 Lutheran its first loss since 2020).

This week in the Colorado Preps look in on softball, we examine some of the biggest risers across each classification.

Class 4A

Up is No. 3 Holy Family (17-4), winners of 10 straight.

The Tigers didn’t have much room to go up, but after not receiving a first-place vote at the beginning of the week that should likely change after their win over No. 2 Windsor Tuesday.

Also on the rise is Frederick (17-2).

The Golden Eagles got their third no-hitter of the season (and second in as many games) from ace Haley Howell in a 15-0 win over Mountain View Thursday. In it, speedy Mackenzie Sais stole her state-leading 50th base.

The fifth-ranked team in the class has now won 11 of its last 12 games, with its lone loss coming to 5A Grand Junction Central Saturday, 4-3. It closes the week at home against Ralston Valley before visiting No. 4 Riverdale Ridge Tuesday.

Elsewhere, No. 9 Elizabeth (16-4) has won a class-leading 12 straight. Coming into Thursday, senior Hanna Espinoza has led the way hitting .593 with 29 RBIs, while also posting a 0.95 ERA in 81 1/3 innings on the mound.

Class 5A

Going up is No. 8 Ponderosa (16-4), which is outscoring teams by 102 runs this season (164-62). Even more impressive perhaps for the Mustangs, though, is that their losses on the year have only come to teams ranked inside the top five in the current CHSAA 5A and 4A coaches’ poll.

Beating Mountain Vista Tuesday for a fourth straight win, Olivia Trombley had three hits and allowed one earned run in four solid innings on the mound. The junior continues to be a dual-headed monster, with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs from the plate, and 10 wins and 113 strikeouts in 87 1/3 innings on the mound.

Outside the top 10, Fossil Ridge (12-7) and Grand Junction Central (14-6) might not be on the outside for long.

The Sabercats have won five of seven, beating Rocky Mountain and Poudre 10-0 while losing 8-7 to No. 9 Broomfield Saturday.

The Warriors have won six straight, beating Montrose 12-1 in their latest. Olivia Litzen went 4 for 4 with five RBIs and a home run in a 10-0 win over Grand Junction Tuesday and has now reached safely in 12 straight games.

Elsewhere, Matix Hull and Gracie Sackett combined for a shutout as No. 6 Erie (17-3) beat Broomfield (15-5) 4-0 Wednesday. The Tigers have won 16 straight, while the Eagles have won nine of 10, much thanks to their ace Breanna Fiala.

Columbine (18-0) stayed perfect, and although there’s no room to go up from No. 1 its 18th straight win marked another dominating chapter this fall, beating No. 3 Valor Christian 11-1 Wednesday.

In it, Ace Araya Ogden moved to 16-0 on the mound this season, allowing one unearned run over six sparkling frames.

Class 3A

No. 7 Fort Lupton (15-6) is cruising of late. A 35-0 win over Middle Park Saturday — yes 35, not a slip of the fingers — has helped highlight its current eight-game win streak.

The Bluedevils have already clinched the 3A Frontier League regular season title.

Brush (16-2), at No. 3, meanwhile, leads the classification with 14 wins in a row.

Saturday, the Beetdiggers beat No. 4 University 17-9 behind three long balls. Braelynn Rule and Brisa Aguirre-Garcia each had one of them and drove in five apiece.

No. 5 Lamar (17-4) has won nine straight, beating Wiley 6-3 behind seven strong innings from Mariah Sigala Tuesday. Chloe Weber then had five RBIs in a 10-3 win over No. 10 La Junta Thursday.

No. 2 Strasburg (17-2) has responded from its loss to unranked Weld Central earlier in the month with six wins over its last seven games.

Heidi Price is 11-2 on the mound this season for the Indians. She hit her fourth home run of the season in a 12-2 win over Timnath Wednesday, then lost in an 11-inning affair to University after pitching 10 1/3 innings.