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Three storylines to watch for at regional softball


By Brad Hallier

Regional softball site managers are probably nervously watching the weather forecast for the upcoming week. While Tuesday will be warm and dry, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday have a good chance of rain and storms.

Welcome to postseason spring sports. Here are three more storylines to watch for at next week’s area regional softball tournaments.

Another brutal 3A substate

I warned y’all during basketball. That substate at Southeast of Saline featured every great team other than the Indiana Fever.

Well, guess what? The area 3A softball tournament is so loaded that reportedly the University of Oklahoma turned down a spot to play in it due to its difficulty.

Top-seed and tournament host Haven may be an ever so slight favorite, if for no other reason than the Wildcats are at home and have talented sophomore pitcher Avery Brawner.

But Haven’s potential semifinal won’t be a walk in the park. Fourth-seeded Hesston has quality wins over Halstead and Kingman. Fifth-seeded Kingman has beaten Hesston and Liberal. Third-seeded Halstead has beaten Haven, Pratt, Hesston and Kingman, and behind talented junior pitcher Kaci Young, has won 16 in a row.

And don’t forget second-seeded Cheney, which has scored in double digits 11 times and is traditionally strong.

Fix it 3A. Please for the love of all that’s good. Fix it.

Can anyone take down Remington in 2-1A?

Remington appears to be a heavy favorite in the Marion regional at 17-2. But many teams in this regional battled Remington, even if they didn’t beat the Broncos (other than third-seeded Canton-Galva). Second-seeded Inman lost once to Remington 4-2. Fourth-seeded Sterling lost once 12-9 to Remington. Fifth-seeded Sterling lost once 12-9.

They’ve all been close. Can one of them get that elusive win? Or, in Canton-Galva’s case, a second win?

McPherson looks for another deep postseason run

As is often the case in McPherson, teams are expected to contend for state championships. McPherson came close last year, falling in the Class 4A state championship game to Wamego.

The Bullpups will be seeded No. 2 and host the regional tournament. But the championship game could be tricky. No. 7 seed Andale/Garden Plain is one of the longtime state powers and has a championship pedigree. Although just 15-9, Andale/Garden Plain can never be underestimated.

It could be a tight championship game.