ABERDEEN, S.D. (KELO) — It’s state championship day for high school softball as six teams are set to play in the three state title matchups.
Lincoln, Brookings, Tea Area, West Central, Alcester-Hudson and Castlewood are all set to play Saturday evening.
Here’s a look at today’s matchups:
#1 LINCOLN vs. #3 BROOKINGS
Lincoln and Brookings are set to clash for the class ‘AA’ state championship.
The Patriots defeated Yankton (7-1) and then Jefferson in the semifinals (4-2) to advance to the state title game.
Brookings is fresh off wins over O’Gorman (6-5) and Brandon Valley (5-3) in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Due to a postponement, the Bobcats won both of their games Friday.
The two teams have played once this season, though it was nearly six weeks ago.
Lincoln earned a narrow 6-5 win over Brookings, in a game that saw the Patriots out hit the Bobcats 14-6. Brookings had four errors in the loss, resulting in two unearned runs.
One key note from their last meeting was Lincoln’s rally. The Patriots trailed 5-3 in the seventh, but scored three unanswered to walk-off Brookings.
As for the state tournament, Lincoln has leaned on their pitching. Madison Evans has thrown all 14 innings in the tourney, allowing two earned runs on ten hits, while striking out 20.
The Bobcat defense has been solid, but they’ve leaned on their offense in Aberdeen. Brookings has scored 11 runs in their two wins, including 16 hits.
One can assume it’ll be Lincoln’s Madison Evans against Brookings’ Gracie Adamson. That was the same matchup that we saw in late April.
Brookings and Lincoln will play Saturday for the title at 5:30 p.m.
#2 WEST CENTRAL vs. #4 TEA AREA
It’ll be an all Dak-12 state championship when Tea Area meets West Central.
The Titans pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament, downing Dell Rapids in emphatic fashion, 22-9.
Tea Area pounded out an incredible 26 hits in the win and shortstop Skyler Haines was insane. She added two doubles and two homeruns in the win.
The Titans are truly battle tested, having won their quarterfinal game 5-4 over Madison.
West Central is in the state title game, having won two games in big fashion. The Trojans cruised past Beresford (16-1) in the quarterfinals and then Dakota Valley (16-2) in the semifinals.
The talented pitching duo of Caitlyn Hoff and Emillee Stofferahn has led the Trojans through the first two games. Stofferahn has thrown seven of their ten innings, but the duo has combined to allow two earned runs on seven hits, while striking out 17.
The West Central offense has been strong too, connecting on 37 hits over their two state tournament wins. Izzi Parsons went a perfect 5-5 in their semifinal win.
The two teams have met already once this season on April 27. Hoff threw a complete game shutout in West Central’s 7-0 win.
Parsons had two hits and a triple, while Stofferahn added a single and a homerun.
Now comes the game that matters. West Central impressed when they met in April, but Tea Area is playing their best ball, having won five straight games.
The Trojans and Titans will meet for the class ‘A’ title Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
#1 ALCESTER-HUDSON vs. #3 CASTLEWOOD
The third and final state championship will see Alcester-Hudson and Castlewood duel for the class ‘B’ title.
Alcester-Hudson is in the title game, having won two different ways. The Cubs edged Hanson 4-2 in the quarters. Then they cruised past Bon Homme 10-0 in the semis.
The key in both games has been their defense. Emma Moller has been incredible in both games, throwing all 13 innings and allowing just two earned runs, while striking out 26 of a possible 39.
Castlewood has had a similar path. The Warriors muscled past Deuel 13-3 and then followed that with a narrow, come from behind win over Arlington, 6-5.
After entering the seventh inning down 5-2, the Warriors rallied with four runs to stun Arlington, 6-5.
While the two teams have had strong seasons, they haven’t yet played each other this year.
They have played a common opponent, which they both earned one run wins.
Alcester-Hudson closed the regular season with a narrow 1-0 win over Arlington. The Warriors, as mentioned above, just beat Arlington by one run in the semifinals.
The Cubs and Warriors will now meet for the class ‘B’ state championship. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.
KELOLAND Sports Director Grant Sweeter will be covering all three games Saturday. Follow him on Twitter at @KELOSweeter for in game updates.
You can also see highlights and reaction from the games on KELOLAND News at 10.