Three small-school softball regionals to watch

May 4—The postseason starts

May 13 for Class 1A and 2A softball teams. Sports Editor Matt Daniels picks out a trio of regional sites to watch:

Class 2A

St. Joseph-Ogden Regional

Three Illini Prairie Conference teams are in this five-team regional at Randy Wolken Field, with the host Spartans the No. 2 seed. SJ-O will get either seventh-seeded Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond or eighth-seeded Cumberland in a regional semifinal game on May 14. Win that and then either third-seeded Unity or fifth-seeded Monticello — two Illini Prairie foes the Spartans beat by identical 2-0 scores this week — awaits in the regional championship game on May 18.

Class 2A

Westville Regional

Host Westville has earned a No. 1 seed with its successful regular season. All the Tigers have to do is beat ninth-seeded Oakwood in a regional semifinal game and then either fourth-seeded Marshall or sixth-seeded Paris in the regional championship game on May 17 to win the school's first regional title since 2006. Sounds simple, right? Well, nothing is simple in the playoffs. Even when Westville boasts a standout pitcher in Abby Sabalaskey.

Class 1A

Arcola Regional

Ever since LeRoy placed third at last year's state tournament, talk began of what the Panthers could do in 2024 when they returned nearly their entire lineup. Well, it's time to find out those answers. LeRoy is a No. 2 seed and will play seventh-seeded Okaw Valley on May 14, with fourth-seeded Arcola against fifth-seeded Tuscola in the other regional semifinal game later that night.