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Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

Local softball teams ready for district tourneys

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HILLSBORO -- Although they are tagged as the lowest seed, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs softball team still has hope they can make some noise heading into the Class 4, District 1 tournament at Hillsboro today.

"I don't think it's a bad thing," Sikeston assistant coach Paige Silverthorn said. "I think it may help us out a little bit. I feel like we are a lot better team than what we were from the beginning of the season."

Sikeston (9-13) will face third-seeded Farmington at 6:30 p.m.

Fourth-seeded Cape Central takes on No. 5 Poplar Bluff at 4:30 p.m.

"This district is wide open," said Silverthorn. "Everyone is pretty close talent-wise and record-wise. I don't think we're going to be the walk-over like everyone expects."

Although it was their first game of the year, the Lady Bulldogs have already fallen to Farmington 7-2.

"They were very strong on defense," Silverthorn said about the Knightettes. "We just have to stay strong on defense ourselves. I think we are more than capable of beating Farmington."

Sikeston will be relying on their leadoff hitter Madison Chaney to set the tone. Chaney is one of the regions fastest players who is almost assured a base hit with her patented slap bunt.

She is also counting on Sydney King, who has been Sikeston's power hitter this year.

"Chaney is always good to have and good to get on base early," Silverthorn said. "She's quick around the bases.

"Sydney has improved tremendously since last year. It's hard to miss her bat. She hits hard line drives almost every time up and drives in a lot of runs."

If Sikeston was to defeat Farmington, they will play the No. 2 seeded Jackson on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Cape Central-Poplar Bluff winner will play first-seeded Hillsboro at 4:30 p.m. also on Thursday.

Class 2, District 2

FESTUS -- Both the Scott City Lady Rams and the Kelly Lady Hawks have found themselves in unfamiliar territory.

Scott City enters the Class 2, District 2 tournament at Festus as the top-seed, while the perennial favorites, Kelly, come in as the three-seed.

"We're pretty excited to take that one seed," Scott City coach Amy Pobst said. "It's one of the first times we've been able to do that.

"To our girls, it's almost like putting a target on them."

Scott City enters the tournament with a 12-10 record and will not play until Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The Lady Rams will take on the winner of the St. Vincent-Jefferson winner which takes place today at 2:30 p.m.

"We don't know too much about Jefferson, but we played St. Vincent once and lost by one in 10 innings," Pobst said. "It wasn't one of our better games, honestly. But, they can hit the ball."

Kelly is notched in as the three-seed -- a place coach Rhonda Ratledge said a team of hers has never been.

"They know they have a lot of hard work ahead of them," she said. "You focus on the positive things and even though we're the three-seed, it can be done."

The Lady Hawks walk into the tournament with a 12-10 record as well. They lost a regular season match-up with Scott City earlier in the year.

"Losing to Scott City hurt us there," Ratledge said. "You just have to focus on the fundamentals and work on defense and limit your errors. Hopefully we'll be geared up and ready to go and play three good games."

Kelly will take on sixth-seeded Saxony Lutheran at 4:30 today. The winner of that game will play the No. 2 seed, St. Pius X on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Class 1, District 1

ORAN -- The Oran Lady Eagles are the No. 2 seed going into the Class 1, District 1 tournament.

They have home field advantage and a fire to get back on the field after a long layoff.

"The girls are ready," Oran coach Wade Sanders said. "They're getting tired of practice and they're just ready to get out there. They're anxious to see how they stack up because we know that there are some good teams in it. Naylor is the team to beat in it. A lot of these teams are playing really well right now."

Although Oran, who ended the regular season at 10-9, is coming into the tournament on a 1-2 skid, their last three games have been against tough competition.

After beating Class 4 Sikeston, they played both Kelly and Cape Central evenly.

"I think we're playing well," Sanders said. "I expect us to come out and continue to play like we have been."

Chaffee, the No. 4 seed, will take on fifth-seeded Neelyville at 2 p.m. today. Third-seeded Van Buren will play sixth-seeded Delta at 4 p.m.

If Chaffee is to come out victorious over Neelyville, they will take on possibly the most dangerous team in the tournament, the first-seeded Naylor Lady Eagles.

The Lady Devils (11-12) have played Neelyville twice already this year. They've split each meeting.

"Both teams I think our looking forward to this next matchup and we'll see which one wants to win the series," Chaffee coach Shawn Powderly said. "It's a big game and the first round of districts. I think both of us are looking forward to another shot at Naylor. Whichever team wins our first game is going to have a good shot at giving them a good run at it."

Class 2, District 1

TWIN RIVERS -- The East Prairie Lady Eagles are still looking for their first win of the season.

They're hoping it comes when they need it the most.

Seventh-seeded East Prairie (0-12) will look to extend their season against second-seeded Clearwater today at 2 p.m.

"We're the seventh-seed against the second-seed," East Prairie coach Steve Stokes said. "(Clearwater's) a good team. They're the team that we're kind of wanting to end up being like because I know when I first started coaching everybody was pounding them, just beating the snot out of them. Now they've turned it around and have a pretty good program."

Although they ended up losing 13-4 on Monday to Chaffee, Stokes feels optimistic about his team's chances after their performance.

"It's still a game so who knows," he said. "If we play as good as we did (Monday) we can make a ball game out of it and if you make a ball game out of it, who knows? But if we go out there and play like we have the majority of the season it's going to be over pretty quick."