Last week I went through all the softball regional tournaments that involved N’West Iowa high school teams, so in the interest of equal time I’ll give you some thoughts on baseball districts this week.
The action starts with games in Class 1A and Class 2A today (Saturday, July 13).
Class 1A District 1
The first game involving N’West Iowa teams in Class 1A District 1 is between familiar foes Trinity Christian and Gehlen Catholic at 5 p.m. today in Akron. These squads played in one of the most memorable games of last year’s postseason, with Gehlen Catholic surviving in a 24-21 win. The teams have met once this summer, with the Tigers squeezing out a 4-2 win on July 5 in LeMars. The winner will likely see eighth-ranked Kingsley-Pierson in a semifinal on Tuesday at Kingsley.
Central Lyon plays Akron-Westfield in the nightcap in Akron today. The winner gets either Lawton-Bronson or Westwood in Kingsley on Tuesday. The district final is Saturday, July 20, in Kingsley.
Class 1A District 2
Class 1A District 2 features three N’West Iowa teams, but none are what you would consider favorites coming into the opening round.
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn opens against MMCRU in Moville. The Royals beat the Hawks 9-5 and 16-0 in the regular season. The night game there has South O’Brien taking on Woodbury Central. The winners play in a semifinal at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Remsen.
The other side of the bracket features a coin-flip kind of game between George-Little Rock and Ridge View in the opening round in Remsen. The winner will likely see 10th-ranked Remsen St. Mary’s in Tuesday’s semifinal game in Remsen. The district final is on July 20 in Remsen.
The Class 1A substate game between the winners of District 1 and District 2 is on Tuesday, July 23, at Sioux City East.
Class 2A District 1
Class 2A District 1 is another one that brings back flashbacks from last year when West Sioux upset West Lyon in the district final, but had to burn some key pitches with its best mound men to do it and didn’t have enough left in the substate round to advance.
The first-round games are today in Orange City, with Sioux Center facing Western Christian and Sheldon taking on Unity Christian. Sioux Center beat Western Christian in a 9-7 slugfest in the regular season. The winner gets fourth-ranked West Lyon in Larchwood in one semifinal. The Orabs and Knights have not met yet this year. The winner takes on West Sioux in a semifinal in Larchwood. It’s possible we’ll see a rematch between West Lyon and West Sioux in the district final on Saturday, July 20, in Larchwood.
Class 2A District 2
Estherville Lincoln Central is the unquestioned favorite in Class 2A District 2. The 10th-ranked Midgets have a bye in the first round and play the next two rounds at home. Estherville Lincoln Central will see either Spirit Lake or Emmetsburg in one semifinal. Okoboji and Sibley-Ocheyedan are the first-round bout on the other side of the bracket. Those teams split in the regular season, with the Pioneers winning 7-4 on June 10 and the Generals taking a 10-8 win on June 21. The winner plays Pocahontas Area at Estherville in the semifinal round. The finals are July 20.
The substate game between the Class 2A District 1 and District 2 winners is on Tuesday, July 23, in Cherokee.
Class 3A District 1
There are no ranked teams in either Class 3A district in this area, but Sioux City Heelan just dropped out of the rankings and may be the most dangerous team in the group. However, the Crusaders aren’t even the District 1 host. That would be Storm Lake.
Sioux City Heelan plays LeMars on the opening round on Friday in Storm Lake. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley plays the Tornadoes. The Nighthawks knocked off Storm Lake 3-0 in district play last season. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley lost to LeMars in the season opener 7-3 and will play the Bulldogs again Monday. The Nighthawks have not played Storm Lake or Sioux City Heelan this year.
The winners meet on Monday, July 22, in the district final.
Class 3A District 2
MOC-Floyd Valley has the best record of any team in Class 3A District, but it’s a balanced group with every team in the bracket having at least 14 wins on the season.
The Dutch lost to first-round foe Spencer on July 5, but both teams went well out of their way not to show their hands in that one knowing they would play again on Friday in Sergeant Bluff. Denison-Schleswig takes on Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the nightcap there, with the winners playing in the district final on Monday, July 22, in Sergeant Bluff.
The winners of District 1 and District 2 meet in a substate final on Wednesday, July 24, with the highest remaining seed playing host to that contest.
State softball televised
Iowa Public Television will cover each of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union softball state tournament championship games live. the contests will be broadcast on the IPTV primary channel and will be streamed live on iptv.org, and the IPTV YouTube and Facebook channels.
The championship games, held at Rogers Sports Complex in Fort Dodge, start with the Class 1A title game at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 25. The Class 2A championship will follow at approximately 8:15.
The rest of the classes finish up on Friday, July 26. The Class 3A game is at 3:30 p.m., with the Class 4A and Class 5A games to follow.