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Three thoughts on state softball

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By Brad Hallier

Expanded days the best change yet

For reasons nobody can really explain, state softball, at most locations, has been a blink-and-it’s-over affair. Quarterfinals start at 5 p.m., the day finishes by 9 p.m., semifinals at 10 a.m. the next day, everything finished by 3 p.m.

The entire state tournament, with eight games on the docket, finished within less than 24 hours.

Kind of hard to enjoy the experience, especially for the teams that played at 7 p.m. Thursday and then in the third-place game the next day. Three games and the entire experience finished in about 19 hours.

Now, all state locations will use one field. Even places that traditionally use two fields, like Pratt’s Green Sports Complex.

It will make for longer days, but there are plenty of benefits. Winning teams can scout their next opposition easier. Fans can watch more games, or take more time out to sit down at a restaurant for a meal instead of hurriedly grabbing food at the concession stand or McDonald’s. The press can cover more games. it’s kind of hard to cover two teams in two different games being played at the same time.

Watch out for Andale/Garden Plain

The Renwick district rarely lacks for good sports teams, and the co-op softball team is a longtime state power. The fact Andale/Garden Plain beat last year’s state runner-up McPherson 8-5 on the Bullpups homefield at regionals should be a shock to nobody.

Andale/Garden Plain is the bottom seed, but if the Indians win a trophy, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Andale/Garden Plain opens with Scott City, and frankly, there shouldn’t be anything Scott City has that Andale/Garden Plain hasn’t already seen. The Indians have beaten fellow state qualifiers Circle and Clearwater already.

Inman comes in a little underrated

Inman actually has a decent softball history, so it’s not like this year’s Teutons came from nowhere.

Looking at their season stats, you notice that one of the Teutons top players, Taylor Froese, has only played in 15 games, as she also does track. But even more impressive is how Inman gets on base. The Tuetons walk and get hit by pitches combined also three times as much as they strike out.

TMP will be a tough first-round opponent, but with the patience Inman has, and Froese in the lineup, the Teutons will always be in a game.