Though it may seem like the softball season just recently got underway, the 2019 postseason is already knocking at the door.
The WIAA released full brackets for all five divisions for the 2019 softball playoffs Sunday, May 12, with first-round action set to get underway Thursday, May 16.
Among local teams, Necedah (9-8) received the most favorable positioning with a No. 3 seed in its Division 4 region. The Cardinals receive a first-round bye and will host the sixth-seeded Brookwood Falcons (7-13) Tuesday, May 21 at 5 p.m. in Necedah.
Brookwood won the first meeting of the season between the two teams 8-4, while Necedah took the second one 7-6 in eight innings. The winner of this postseason rubber match moves on to face either No. 2 seed Cochrane-Fountain City (17-6), No. 7 seed Onalaska Luther (8-11) or No. 10 seed Melrose-Mindoro (2-13).
Scenic Bluffs Conference champion Bangor (11-7) is the top seed in the region.
In Division 2, Mauston (3-15) drew a No. 10 seed and will take on No. 7 seed Reedsburg (6-12) in the regional quarterfinals Thursday, May 16 at 5 p.m. at Nishan Park in Reedsburg. The winner will face No. 2 seed Madison Edgewood (11-9) Tuesday, May 21 at Goodman Park in Madison. The Portage Warriors (15-5) are the top seed in the region.
In Division 5, Royall (7-7) was awarded a No. 6 seed and a first-round bye. The Panthers will hit the road to face No. 3 seed Elmwood/Plum City (10-5) in the regional semifinals Tuesday, May 21 at 5 p.m. in Elmwood.
No. 7 seed New Lisbon (10-8) will not get the benefit of a first-round bye and will host No. 10 seed Alma Center Lincoln (2-13) Thursday, May 16 at 5 p.m. in the regional quarterfinals. The winner of that game moves on to face No. 2 seed Pepin/Alma (15-5) Tuesday, May 21 at 5 p.m.
Wonewoc-Center (5-12) was given a No. 9 seed and will take on No. 8 seed Hillsboro (5-8) Thursday, May 16 at 5 p.m. in Hillsboro. The Tigers swept the regular-season series, winning the first game 10-0 and the second game 6-1.
“It’s always hard to beat a team three times, right? So hopefully we can manage to pull off a little bit of an upset,” said Wonewoc-Center head coach Dawn Ertel. “We should match up fairly well with them. We cut the loss from 10-0 to 6-1 in the second one. I feel like we’re finally catching on and catching up.”
To the winner of the Wonewoc-Center-Hillsboro game goes a daunting regional semifinal matchup with top-seeded Blair-Taylor (21-0). The Wildcats are undefeated this season and have made the state tournament in each of the past two years.
Regional finals are scheduled for Thursday, May 23, sectional semifinals will be played on Tuesday, May 28 and sectional finals are slated for Thursday, May 30.
The 2018 WIAA softball state tournament will be held from Thursday, June 6 to Saturday, June 8 at Goodman Diamond in Madison. More information about the softball state tournament and full postseason brackets for all five divisions can be found at https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Softball/Tournament.