Over the years, the sports of baseball and softball have always seemed to provide a great deal of excitement for sports fans in Scioto County, especially considering the postseason runs that have been made by a litany of schools across both sports.
And if the regular season play, along with the brackets that were released on Sunday afternoon, are any indication, the 2018 season will be one that continues to impress, and amaze, the fans of those who take to the grass in Scioto County.
In all, a total of four programs inside the county — the Minford and Wheelersburg baseball programs, along with the Wheelersburg and Clay softball programs — claimed No. 1 seeds in the official postseason bracket, while the Clay, Green, and Valley baseball programs, along with the Notre Dame, Minford, and Valley softball programs, all claimed top-five seeds in draws that were made available to the public on Sunday evening.
Division III, Southeast I
In the Division III, Southeast I District bracket, Minford, who obtained a No. 1 seed due to its 16-1 overall record, obtained a bye into the Division III Sectional Finals, where the winner of Chillicothe Huntington and Lynchburg-Clay will face the Falcons on Saturday, May 12 in Minford at 11 a.m. A primo matchup between No. 6 West and No. 11 Portsmouth — a sectional semifinal bout to be held in West Portsmouth — awaits on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m., with the winner facing Paint Valley on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Bainbridge. It is the second year in a row that West and Portsmouth will face each other in sectional semifinal competition.
Division III, Southeast II
In the Southeast II bracket, Wheelersburg, like Minford, also obtained a bye and will face the winner of either Chesapeake or Nelsonville-York on Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. in Wheelersburg. It is possible that the Pirates could face Northwest or Valley in district semifinal action down the road, but the No. 13 Mohawks will have to defeat No. 4 West Union, while the No. 5 Indians will have to dispose of Sardinia Eastern in the Division III Sectional Semifinals.
Division IV, Southeast I
As far as the Division IV, Southeast I Bracket is concerned, a possible rematch immediately jumps off the page as No. 2 Clay — who earned a bye into a May 8 sectional final date at 5 p.m. — could face off against Notre Dame barring that the Titans defeat No. 10 Manchester in a Division IV Sectional Semifinal that will be held on Saturday morning in Portsmouth. The No. 9 seed in the Southeast I District Bracket, South Webster, can play Reedsville Eastern with a victory over No. 8 Federal Hocking in a Division IV Sectional Semifinal that will be held in Stewart.
Division IV, Southeast II
Green, who obtained a No. 3 seed and a bye into the sectional final round, will play the winner of either No. 6 Ironton St. Joseph or No. 11 Western on Wednesday in Franklin Furnace. East is the remaining Division IV unit from the county in the bracket, and will be traveling to Peebles to play the No. 8-seeded Indians on Saturday.
Division III, Chillicothe I
After racing out to a 16-0 start, the Wheelersburg Pirates’ softball program removed all doubt of it obtaining a No. 1 seed as Teresa Ruby’s club garnered a bye into a Division III Sectional Final on Friday, May 11. The winner of a matchup between No. 8 Wellston or No. 9 Rock Hill — which will be played on Tuesday in Wellston — awaits.
Minford, who obtained a No. 5 seed in the bracket, will face No. 12 Portsmouth in a Tuesday evening contest that will be held in Minford. The winner moves on to a Friday evening Division III Sectional Semifinal between Eastern or West Union, with the winner of that contest facing Wheelersburg in the Division III District Semifinals on Monday, May 16 at 5 p.m. at Chillicothe’s Unioto High School.
Division III, Chillicothe II
The lone pair of units from Scioto County in the Division III, Chillicothe II District Bracket, No. 8 Northwest and No. 9 West will get to face off against each other on Tuesday, May 8 in McDermott for the right to play No. 1 Westfall on Friday evening at 5 p.m. in Williamsport.
Division IV, Rio Grande I
While the location of the Division IV Southeast District Softball Tournaments have changed from Minford to Rio Grande, the names at the top continue to stay the same as Clay garnered the No. 1 overall seed in the Rio Grande I District Bracket. The Panthers, who will play the winner of either Western or Paint Valley, will host a Division IV Sectional Final on Thursday, May 10.
New Boston, who is a No. 6 seed, will host a Division IV Sectional Semifinal contests against Mowrystown Whiteoak on Monday, May 7, with the winner advancing to play No. 3 Peebles.
Division IV, Rio Grande II
In the Rio Grande II District Bracket, it is the same song, different verse as No. 2 Notre Dame — another familiar face at the top line — will host a Division IV Sectional Semifinal on Thursday, May 10 against either No. 7 Green or No. 10 Ironton St. Joseph.
Along with Green, Valley, a No. 5 seed, and South Webster, a No. 8 seed, will also be hosting Division IV Sectional Semifinal contests against East and South Gallia, respectively, on Monday, May 7.
All times for sectional contests are 5 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on Saturdays. For more information on the Southeast District Brackets, visit www.seodab.com.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT