Ariana Galicia struck out 16, as Cheyenne East slipped past Natrona County 3-0 in the first round of the softball state tournament in Gillette on Thursday.

Galicia allowed only three hits in the shutout of the Fillies and threw only 75 total pitches in the victory. She didn’t allow a runner past first base until a two-out triple by Payton Hans in the sixth inning.

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The game was scoreless until the fourth inning. Cheyenne East got a two-out double by Emily Schlagel. That was followed by a walk. Lillah Vallejo drove in two runs with a double to right field. She was out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

An RBI-double by Jaylyn Christensen in the sixth inning added insurance for the Thunderbirds.

Schlagel’s two hits led Cheyenne East’s seven-hit attack.

The Thunderbirds will take on rival Cheyenne Central in a winner’s bracket game at 10 a.m. on Friday.

NC has an elimination game against rival Kelly Walsh at noon on Friday in Gillette.

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