Though it seems rather hard to believe, the regular seasons for the local softball and baseball teams are winding down and the sure sign of that is when the sectional tournament pairings are announced. The Southeast tournament drawing was held on Sunday afternoon and now each local squad knows where their postseason path will begin next week. The records indicated here for each team are the records at the time of the draw.
The only local team in the Division III softball tournament are the West Union Lady Dragons. West Union (5-7) will attempt to be the Kentucky Wildcats of this tourney, garnering a No. 8 seed which matches them up with No. 9 seeded Adena (1-13). That game will be played in West Union on May 13 at 5 p.m. A win for the Lady Dragons there will put them in immediate upset mode as they would move on to face No. 1 seeded Westfall (17-3) on May 16 at 5 p.m.
“We are excited about getting to play a home game,” said West Union head coach James Owens.
The other three county softball squads will be part of the Southeast District Division IV tourney and will all begin postseason play on the same day, May 12 with 5 p.m. first pitches. First-year head coach Kelly Boerger will lead her No.6 seeded Lady Devils (7-8) into action with a home contest against No. 11 seeded Eastern Pike (2-10). A win there sends North Adams to the next round and a trip to No. 3 seeded Paint Valley (16-6) on May 15.
“Our record of 7-8 at the time of the tournament draw basically sealed the deal with us getting the number 6 seed,” said Boerger. “We will face Eastern Pike, a team that we were scheduled to play this season but got rained out. If we advance to the sectional finals we will play the number 3 seed Paint Valley who always has a solid team. As long as the girls keep the errors to a minimum and stay focused throughout the entire game, we’re ready to surprise a few people and make a run in this year’s tournament.”
Another first year coach in Peebles, Doug McFarland, takes his young and No. 10 seeded Lady Indians (3-9) on a trip to Latham to battle the No. 7 seeded Lady Indians (7-7) . If the Lady Indian can pull that one out, they will move on to face No. 2 seed Portsmouth Notre Dame (14-3) on May 15. Lastly, the Manchester Lady Greyhounds (5-9) earned a No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 Glenwood New Boston (3-9) with a trip to No. 1 seeded Fairfield on May 15 as the prize for a first round victory.
“We are comparable teams,” said Coach McFarland. “Western has more experienced players but I feel good about our chances. If we hit and field like I know we can, we can bring home a winner.”
In the baseball draw, Coach Sean Inman and his West Union Dragons (5-11) will be a No. 13 seed in the Division III tournament and face a rather daunting task to advance beyond that first game. The Dragons will travel to face a familiar foe in No. 4 seed and Southern Hills Athletic Confeence champion Lynchburg (16-3) in a May 14 contest. An upset win there would send the Dragons to a sectional final game against the Zane Trace -Eastern Brown winner on May 17.
The remainder of the county’s baseball squads will be part of the Division IV Tournament with two teams starting play this Saturday, May 10. Coach Judd Johnson and his Peebles Indians (3-7) are a No. 9 seed and will travel to face No. 8 seed Glenwood New Boston on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Looming in the next round is SHAC foe and No.1 seeded Fairfield. That sectional final game will be played on May 13 at 5 p.m.
Also in action at 11 a.m on Saturday morning will be Coach Kyle Brewer’s No. 10 seeded Manchester Greyhounds (4-10) who will travel to Eastern Pike to face the No. 7 seeded Eagles (5-10). A win on Saturday will propel the Hounds into a sectional final game at No. 2 seed Notre Dame on May 13 at 5 p.m.
”Coming into the tournament, we thought we had the opportunity to get anything between an 8 and 11 seed, “said Coach Brewer. “With the two wins that we picked up on Saturday, we were able to get the 10 seed. Eastern Pike has a club that comes ready to play on any night. Our mindset going into this game is to survive the four games this week, and focus on the tournament.”
The final county baseball team to begin postseason play will be Coach Rob Meade and his North Adams Green Devils. North Adams (5-7) is seeded No. 5 and will face an SHAC opponent on May 13 when they travel to No. 4 seeded Whiteoak (4-11). A win in that opening round will move the Devils to the district tournament at Chillicothe Paints Stadium on May 17 at 4 p.m., likely to face No. 1 seeded Trimble in a 4 p.m. start.
“I was satisfied with our draw,” said Coach Meade. “With our record, and lack of games played, I think we did as well as could be expected.”
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.