It’s that time.
The 12 DI North squads have been trimmed down to eight to participate in the DI North regional tournament at Bishop Manogue.
The state tournament will be held at Hixson Park on the Nevada campus May 19-21 so the top two finishers this weekend will earn the right to play for the state title.
The first round of the DI North regional tournament starts today at Bishop Manogue and wraps up Saturday. Here is how the eight teams in the field stack up:
The Raiders have won three straight regional titles and are coming off the program’s first state title since 1998. They lost just one starting senior from last year’s team. As long as Julia Jensen has the ball, Reed is the team to beat.
Maybe the best indicator of a team’s strength is how it fairs against the tough teams. Well, the Huskies swept Spanish Springs and played Reed tough once. Christie Betker is one of the league’s best pitchers. The Huskies lead the pack of teams trying to upend the Raiders.
The Miners don’t have a record that’s going to wow anyone but they have shown they can hang. They had the Raiders on the ropes twice and advanced to the regional title game last year. Manogue will also beplaying on its home field. Maggie Joseph and Hannah Blas are as a good a 1-2 pitching combo as any in the tournament.
Senior pitcher Hayley Fein was the DI North Pitcher of the Year as a junior. It’s hard to count out a player as talented as her who isn’t excited about the prospect of her high school career ending.
Last year, the Grizzlies dropped their tournament opener then went on a surprising run as the No. 7 seed, winning three straight elimination games. This year, Galena has taken a game from Reno, swept Bishop Manogue and held Reed in check in both losses, falling just 3-1 and 3-0.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
The Lancers have beaten the teams they were supposed to beat while struggling through the top tier of the region, before stunning Reed last week. Sadaria McAlister suffering a season-ending injury at the start of the spring lowered the team’s ceiling.
Behind the nearly .500 overall record is a team that has shown it can hang with the top half of the region. A lack of consistency has been the team’s issue, something that can be exposed in a tournament.
The Mustangs have three sweeps to their credit. All of them are against teams who will be watching the regional tournament from the bleachers.
2015 REGIONAL TOURNAMENT RECAP
Results: W vs Galena (10-0), W vs Reno (7-0), W vs Bishop Manogue (6-0), W vs Bishop Manogue (9-2)
State results: W vs Foothill (9-2), W vs Palo Verde (2-1), W vs Palo Verde (3-2)
Spanish Springs Cougars
Results: W vs Damonte Ranch (16-0), L vs Bishop Manogue (3-0), L vs Galena (6-4)
Results: W vs McQueen (8-3), L vs Reed (7-0), L vs Douglas (12-9)
Results: L vs Reed (10-0), W vs McQueen (12-11), W vs Spanish Springs (6-4), W vs Douglas (13-2), L vs Bishop Manogue (9-1)
Results: L vs Reno (8-3), L vs Galena (12-11)
Results: L vs Bishop Manogue (3-2), W vs Damonte Ranch (12-2), W vs Reno (12-9), L vs Galena (13-2)
Bishop Manogue Miners
Results: W vs Douglas (3-2), W vs Spanish Springs (3-0), L vs Reed (6-0), W vs Galena (9-1), L vs Reed (9-2)
Damonte Ranch Mustangs
Results: L vs Spanish Springs (16-0), L vs Douglas (12-2)