By Mark Carpenter –
After a regular season that has been severely hampered by some bizarre spring weather in southern Ohio, the local softball and baseball squads now know where their “second” seasons will begin. On Sunday afternoon, the Southeast District Athletic Board released the pairings for the 2018 softball and baseball tournaments, giving each team a first glimpse at their potential opponents for a tournament run.
(The records listed in parentheses are each team’s at the time that tournament information was due for the draw).
Both of the county’s teams in the Division III softball tournament have had their struggles this spring, and both will be in action on Tuesday, May 8. Coach Chelsea Lewis and her West Union Lady Dragons, who stood at 2-9 at the time of the tourney draw, will be a number 13 seed and will have a tough opening round match up in the Div. III sectional semi-finals. West Union will face number four seeded and fellow SHAC member Eastern Brown on May 8 on the home field of the Lady Warriors. The winner of that contest will advance to the sectional finals on May 11, battling the winner of Minford-Portsmouth.
Also in Division III, Coach Shannon Staggs and his North Adams Lady Devils (1-11) are a number 14 seed and face the unenviable task of facing number three seed and fellow SHAC squad, the Fairfield Lady Lions (10-5) on May 8 in Leesburg. The winner of that game moves to the sectional title game on May 11, facing the winner of Piketon-Adena.
The two most successful Adams county softball squads in 2018 both reside in Division IV. Coach John Kennedy and the Manchester Lady Greyhounds (9-4) earned a number four seed and a first-round sectional bye. The Lady Hounds will battle for a sectional championship on their home field on May 10, facing the winner of a May 7 match up between number five seeded Lucasville Valley (7-3) and number 12 seeded Sciotoville East (1-15). If the Lady Hounds can come out victorious in the sectional title game, they will move to the district semi-finals on May 17 at Rio Grande University, with a likely match up with number one seed Eastern Meigs (12-3).
Coach Doug McFarland and the Peebles Lady Indians (9-4) will be looking for another tourney run in Division IV, and will begin that quest as a number three seed with a first-round sectional bye. The Lady Indians will be on their home field on May 10, taking on the winner of number six seed New Boston (6-9) and number 11 seed Whiteoak (4-12). A win there sends the Peebles girls to Rio Grande on May 15 for a district semi-final game with the likely opponent being number two seed Symmes Valley (12-5).
On the baseball side, things are just the opposite as the two strongest county squads are both in Division III. Coach Joe Kramer and his West Union Dragons, 8-1 at the draw and who could be SHAC champions by the time this goes to print, will be a number four seed and be in sectional semi action on Wednesday, May 9. The Dragons will host number 13 seeded Northwest (1-14) and with a victory, will move to the sectional championship game on May 12, facing the winner of number five seeded Lucasville Valley (8-8) and number 12 seeded Eastern Brown (2-9).
A sectional title would send the Dragons to Paints Stadium in Chillicothe on May 18 at 5 p.m. for a district semi-final contest, likely with number one seed and former state champion Wheelersburg (11-5).
Also in Division III are Coach Rob Meade and the North Adams Green Devils (7-4) who have made a late charge into the SHAC race. and are a number seven seed. The Devils will host number 10 seeded Piketon (4-8) on May 9 with a trip to the sectional finals on the line. The sectional final would be on May 12 at number two seeded Adena, with a trip to Paints Stadium on the line.
In baseball’s Division IV, Coach Dustin Cook and the Manchester Greyhounds (1-8) are a number 10 seed and will travel to number seven seeded Portsmouth Notre Dame on May 5 at 11 a.m. If the Hounds can pull off the upset, they will move to the sectional finals on May 8 at number two seed Portsmouth Clay (14-3).
Also in Division IV, Coach Kenny Dick and the Peebles Indians (4-8) are the number eight seed and will host a sectional semi-final game on May 5 at 11 a.m., welcoming number nine seeded Sciotoville East (2-10) to the county. A win there for the Indians catapults them into the sectional title game on May 8, facing number one seed and SHAC small school champion Whiteoak (14-0).
The complete Division III and IV softball and baseball brackets can be found at www.seodab.org.