WIAA State Softball Tournament Preview

posted by Jimmie Kaska - 

THE TOURNAMENT: The 43rd Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Softball Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, June 7-9, at Goodman Diamond on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $8 per session for quarterfinals and semifinals, $6 for each championship game and $15 for an all-day ticket on Thursday and Friday. Tickets are available at the stadium or online with a convenience fee per session ticket:

https://www.expressoticketing.com/wiaa/pickevent.aspx?ecn=20

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND PAIRINGS: The single elimination tournament features five divisions. Eight teams qualify in Division 1 and four each in Divisions 2, 3, 4 and 5. The top four teams in the Division 1 field are seeded with the remaining four teams paired against the seeded teams by random draw. The second game of each session will begin approximately 30 minutes following the first game.

Thursday, June 7

Division 1 Quarterfinals

Game-1: #4 Menomonee Falls (21-4) vs. Waukesha North (18-3) - 8 a.m.

Game-2: #1 Sun Prairie (26-0) vs. Appleton North (20-7) - 10 a.m.*

Game-3: #2 Chippewa Falls (24-4) vs. Burlington (20-5) - 12:30 p.m.

Game-4: #3 Oak Creek (22-3) vs. Slinger (22-2) - 2:30 p.m.*

Division 5 Semifinals

Game-1: McDonell Catholic (18-1) vs. Assumption (16-4) - 5 p.m.

Game-2: Blair-Taylor (19-1) vs. Oakfield (23-4) - 7 p.m.*

Division 4 Semifinal

Game-1: Thorp (16-7) vs. Weyauwega-Fremont (21-4) - 9 p.m.

Friday, June 8

Division 4 Semifinal

Game-2: Pacelli (25-0) vs. Horicon (26-1) - 8 a.m.*

Division 3 Semifinals 

Game-1: Prescott (22-3) vs. Tomahawk (15-7) - 10 a.m.

Game-2: Poynette (22-1) vs. Westfield (18-0) - Noon*

Division 2 Semifinals

Game-1: Mosinee (22-4) vs. Denmark (21-9) - 2:30 p.m.

Game-2: Portage (21-4) vs. Whitnall (24-5) - 4:30 p.m.*

Division 1 Semifinals

Game 5: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 - 7 p.m.

Game 6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 - 9 p.m.*

Saturday, June 9

Division 5 Championship Game - 8 a.m.

Division 4 Championship Game - 10:30 a.m.*

Division 3 Championship Game - 1 p.m.*

Division 2 Championship Game - 4 p.m.

Division 1 Championship Game - 6:30 p.m.*

* Approximate times

PRE-FINALS LIVE ON NFHS NETWORK: The Division 1 quarterfinals and the semifinals of all five divisions of the WIAA State Softball Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, log-on to www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription graphic in the middle of the page.

FINALS AIRED LIVE ON FS WISCONSIN: Watch the WIAA State Softball Tournament finals on the FS Wisconsin or the FS Wisconsin Plus Channel. The championship games in Divisions 3, 4 and 5 will air live on FS Wisconsin Plus, and the Division 1 and 2 finals will air on FS Wisconsin. Check local cable listings for the channel in your area. The championship finals will also be streamed live on the FoxSportsGo app.

TEAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY:  The WIAA has been sponsoring the State Softball Tournament since 1976. Stevens Point leads all programs in State titles won with nine. Kimberly has claimed seven titles, and Marion has six. Both Denmark and Oakfield have won five. Stevens Point has appeared in the most State Tournaments with 18. Ashwaubenon is next on the list with 16. Kimberly ranks third with 14 appearances, followed by Oakfield with 13, and Homestead and Verona with 12.

LAST YEAR:  Kaukauna won the Division 1 title with a convincing 3-1 victory over Wilmot in the championship game. Rice Lake won the Division 2 title by outscoring Turner 13-9 in the final. Laconia was the Division 3 champion for the third straight season with a 5-0 shut out over Weyauwega-Fremont in the State final. Juda/Albany won the Division 4 title by edging Pacelli 2-1 in the championship game, and McDonell Catholic was the first winner of the Division 5 championship, scoring an 8-3 victory over Blair-Taylor in the title game.

THE DIVISION 1 FIELD: Chippewa Falls makes its first State appearance since 2015 and the 12th overall. The Cardinals won their only State championship in 2012. They have also finished runner-up twice, in 2006 and in 2009. They finished atop the Big Rivers Conference standings this year and are the representatives out of the Stevens Point Sectional following a 4-1 win over Stevens Point in the final. Oak Creek is making its second consecutive trip to the State Tournament and its ninth overall. The Knights’ most notable experience in the tourney was a runner-up finish in 2005. They are the champions of the Southeast Conference this spring and qualified for State by virtue of their 7-0 win over Muskego in the Kenosha Bradford Sectional final. Appleton North returns to the tournament for the first time since 2007 when the Lightning finished runner-up. They won the State Championship in 2005. Their return to the State tournament comes following a 3-0 triumph over Green Bay Preble in the Kaukauna Sectional final. It’s the Lightning’s sixth overall appearance. They placed second in the Fox Valley Association this spring. Menomonee Falls is participating in its sixth State Tournament overall and for the second season in a row. The Indians’ advance to the semifinals in 2013 represents their most notable finish. The Indians finished atop the Greater Metro Conference standings this season. Their return to the final field of eight comes by virtue of a 9-6 win over Nicolet in the sectional final held at Germantown. Sun Prairie returns to State for the second straight year and for the fifth time overall. The Cardinals’ most notable finish was a runner-up result in 2012. They are the champions of the Big Eight Conference this season, and they earned their return to the State tournament with a five-inning, 10-0 win over Holmen in the Baraboo Sectional final. Burlington returns to the State tournament for the first time since 1988 and for the fourth time overall. The Demons won the Class A championship in their first-ever appearance at State in 1984. Their return to the tournament field for the first time in 30 years comes following a 6-4 victory over Westosha Central in the Wilmot Sectional final. During the regular season, they placed first in the standings of the Southern Lakes Conference. It will be the second State appearance for Waukesha North. The only other experience for the Northstars resulted in a loss in the quarterfinals in 2000. They finished runner-up in the Classic 8 conference this season and advanced through the West Allis Hale sectional with a 1-0 blanking of Arrowhead in the final. Slinger advances to the State quarterfinals for the first time following its 3-1 victory over Oshkosh West in the Watertown Sectional final. The Owls were the champions of the North Shore Conference during the regular season.

THE DIVISION 2 FIELD: Mosinee will make its second appearance at State. The Indians’ only other experience resulted in a championship in 2014. They defeated Baldwin-Woodville 2-1 in the sectional final held at Baldwin-Woodville. The Indians finished first in the Great Northern Conference standings this spring. Denmark qualifies for the State tournament for the eighth time overall and for the first time since 1997. The Vikings have won four State championships. Two came back-to-back in Class B in 1982 and 1983. They also captured crowns in 1991 and in 1997. They also have a runner-up finish in 1985 on their ledger. The Vikings outscored Winneconne 8-7 in the final of the Wrightstown Sectional to earn their berth in the tournament field. They placed third in the North Eastern Conference standings this season. Portage returns to State for the fourth time, and for the first time since 2007. The Warriors won the Division 2 State championship in 2005. They finished second in the North Division of the Badger Conference this season and advanced along the tournament trail through the McFarland Sectional, culminating with a 2-1 victory over Delavan-Darien in the final. Whitnall advances to the State semifinals for the third time. In the Falcons’ previous two appearances, they fell in Division 1 semifinals in 1994 and 1995. They are back in the State tournament following a 2-0 shutout over Kewaskum in the Waupun Sectional. The Falcons finished second in the East Division of the Woodland Conference during the regular season.

THE DIVISION 3 FIELD: Poynette is making its third appearance in the last four seasons and its 10th overall. The Pumas won the Division 2 title in 1998 and added Division 3 crowns in 2005 and 2011. They also have had four runner-up finishes, which came in 1999, 2003, 2012 and again in 2015. They are the champions in the North Division of the Capitol Conference this season, and they have advanced to the semifinals with a 3-1 victory over Dodgeville in the sectional final played at Poynette. Prescott will make its fourth overall appearance at State and the first since 2002. The Cardinals are attempting to advance past the semifinals for the first time having been eliminated from title contention in the semifinals in Division 2 in 1993 and 1998 and in Division 2 in 2003. They are champions of the Middle Border Conference this year. In post-season play, they advanced through the Cumberland Sectional and beat Amery 4-1 in the sectional final. Tomahawk returns to the State tournament for the second time and for the first time since its only other appearance in 1983, which resulted in a runner-up finish in Class B. The Hatchets finished second to Division 2 qualifier Mosinee in the Great Northern Conference this season. They advance to the State semifinals through the Chilton Sectional, culminating with a 2-0 victory over Brillion in the final. Westfield will experience the State tournament for the first time in program history. The milestone comes following an 8-inning, 6-5 victory over Kettle Moraine Lutheran in the Laconia Sectional final. The Pioneers are the champions of the South Central Conference this year.

THE DIVISION 4 FIELD: Last year’s runner-up Pacelli qualifies for State for the eighth time and for the third time in the last four seasons. The Cardinals have won Division 4 titles in 2003 and again in 2015. They won a Division 3 title in 2012 with a runner-up finish in Division 3 in 2011. Prior to joining the WIAA, the Cardinals won six consecutive titles from 1992-97 while a member of WISAA. This season, they finished first in the South Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference and advanced through the Markesan Sectional with a 1-0 victory over Spencer in the final. Last year’s Division 3 runner-up Weyauwega-Fremont moves down a division to qualify for the fourth time overall and the second year in a row. The Indians’ first appearance that came in 2004 also resulted in a runner-up finish. They are champions of the East Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference this season. They have qualified through the St. Mary Catholic Sectional with a 3-2 win over Manitowoc Lutheran in the final. Horicon is appearing in its seventh State Tournament and its first since 2011. The Marshladies made three straight appearances that led to Division 3 titles in 2002 and 2003, and a runner-up finish in Division 4 in 2001. They are the champions of the South Division of the Trailways Conference. They were a 13-0 victor over Mineral Point in five innings in the sectional final hosted by Horicon. Thorp advances to the State Tournament for the second time in the last three seasons and for the fifth time overall. The Cardinals are seeking their second State title after winning their first in their most recent appearance in 2016. They finished runner-up in two of their four experiences. Those came back-to-back in 2008 and 2009. They clubbed Grantsburg 13-6 in the final of the Shell Lake Sectional, and they finished fourth in the West Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this spring.

THE DIVISION 5 FIELD: Defending champion McDonell Central makes its sixth appearance at State and its third in the past four seasons. The Macks also won the Division 4 State championship in 2008 and have finished runner-up twice, in Division 3 in their first-ever tournament experience in 2005 and again in Division 4 in 2011. This season, the Macks finished first in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference. They edged Drummond 2-1 in the Gilman Sectional final to continue their quest from back-to-back titles. Last year’s runner-up Blair-Taylor advances to the State tournament for the second straight season after making the program’s first appearance a year ago. Their return to the State semifinals was the result of a 4-1 victory over Seneca in the Royall Sectional final. The Wildcats were the runners-up in the Dairyland Conference this spring. Oakfield is making its 14th State appearance overall and its eighth in the last 10 years. The Oaks have won five State championships, including Division 4 championships in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014, as well as the Division 3 crown in 1997. They were also the Division 4 runners-up in 2004 and again in 2015. This season, they are the champions in the North Division of the Trailways Conference. The Oaks continue their quest for a sixth championship by cruising to a 10-1 win over Highland in the final of the sectional they hosted. Assumption makes its fifth overall appearance at State and its first since 2014. The Royals captured the Division 3 championship in their first trip in 2001 and the Division 4 title in 2005. They finished first in the South Division standings of the Marawood Conference this season. The Royals earned their return to the State semifinals with a convincing 8-1 win over Wausaukee in the final of the Almond-Bancroft Sectional.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?: Information for qualifying teams in the State Tournament are available on the restricted media area of the WIAA website.

FOLLOW THE TOURNEY ON TWITTER: Receive the updates of the State Softball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaasoftball. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

NEED RESULTS?: The quickest way to get results will be to access the softball homepage on the WIAA website at: http://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Softball.aspx and choose the appropriate results links.

via WIAA Press Release

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