To say the Lady Eagles have dominated the regional tournament each of the last three years would be a major understatement.
The numbers speak for themselves.
Sumiton Christian is 12-0 in regional tournament play since 2009 and the Lady Eagles have outscored their opponents a staggering 117-9.
Last year alone they breezed through the North-Central Regional Tournament with a perfect 4-0 mark and a 51-3 scoring advantage. Over the last two years no team has scored more than two runs against the Lady Eagles in regional play.
Sumiton Christian heads into this year’s North-Central Tournament as the favorite yet again.
The No. 2 Lady Eagles open up against the Woodland Lady Bobcats at 3:30 p.m. today.
Sumiton Christian (45-15) hasn’t lost to a Class 2A team this season. The Lady Eagles won the 2A, Area 11 Tournament on Monday, beating American Christian Academy (ACA) 3-0 in the championship game.
ACA is the only other ranked team in the 2A North-Central Regional Tournament. No. 4 ACA starts the two-day event on the opposite side of the bracket.
The top two teams from each of the four regional tournaments make the trip to Montgomery’s Lagoon Park for the State Tournament set for May 17-19.
If Sumiton Christian wins its opener, the team plays again at 8 p.m. vs. the winner of the Sulligent-Vincent game.
The winner’s bracket final is set for 11 a.m. on Saturday with the final to be played at 5 p.m.
Sumiton Christian has advanced to the state tournament each of the last three seasons, taking third in 2009 in 3A, winning the 3A title in 2010 and finishing third in 2A last season.
The Class 1A State Softball Tournament isn’t being played at Liberty Park in Vestavia Hills this weekend.
It just seems that way.
Four of the top five teams in the state will make the trip to the North-Central Regional Tournament beginning today. The top two teams advance to next week’s State Softball Tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.
Lynn is one of those top teams. The Lady Bears bring a No. 5 ranking into the tournament. Lynn (35-5) opens against Jacksonville Christian beginning at 3:30 p.m.
No. 1 Ragland — last year’s state champion, No. 2 Parrish, No. 3 South Lamar — last year’s state runner up and No. 5 Lynn are playing at Liberty Park this weekend.
“Both the winner and state runner up came out of this regional last year and I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that way again,” Lynn coach Adam Gray said. “Four of the top five are in one region. It’s tough.”
Lynn swept its way to the 1A, Area 12 title last week, beating Meek in the championship game.
“I thought we pitched well in the area tournament and our defense got refocused. Toward the end of the tournament our bats came alive,” he said.
Lynn drew the toughest half of the regional bracket, which includes Ragland taking on South Lamar.
If the Lady Bears beat Jacksonville Christian, they will face the Ragland-South Lamar winner in the second round.
“We will just have to be mentally prepared. We can’t make mistakes and we’ll have to have timely hitting when the occasion rises. Most likely these will be low-scoring games where one mistake will get you beat. We’ll have to play well,” Gray said.
Meek is in the regional tournament for the first time in school history after upsetting Addison in 1A, Area 12 tournament last week.
Meek had lost to Addison four times during the regular season.
The Lady Tigers take on Faith Christian at 3:30 p.m. today. Win or lose, Meek plays again at 8 p.m. today in the double-elimination event.