The postseason starts this week for area teams as the Central District softball and baseball tournament gets underway.
A handful of Madison County teams are seeded high and should make extended runs, others have struggled through the regular season but will have a chance to salvage their seasons with a couple tournament wins.
Jonathan Alder is the top seed in the Division II baseball tournament and will open what it hopes will be a deep postseason run Thursday, May 11 at home against either No. 18 Linden or No. 20 Whitehall. The contest will begin at 5 p.m. Alder should be in good shape to win that opener and get to a D-II district semifinal.
This is the road block the Pioneers (17-3) have been tripped up in the last couple seasons, with disappointing district semifinal losses at the hands of Licking Valley. If Alder gets to this spot again it will face either No. 5 Bexley, No. 9 Heath or No. 15 Licking Valley. This season coach Craig Kyle’s team split a doubleheader with Heath and edged Licking Valley in a close game.
The coach is determined to have his players ready to play no matter who the opponent is. He also said that his players won’t be thinking about what happened last year or the year prior.
“We honestly don’t talk about what happened yesterday or last year for that matter,” Kyle said. “We’re playing for this year, we’ll continue to look forward.”
No. 14 London (9-12) has had its share of ups and downs this season, it will look to advance past the first round of the D-II tournament when it plays at No. 11 Hartley Tuesday, starting at 5 p.m. The winner will advance to face either No. 8 Johnstown-Monroe or No. 19 Marion Franklin on Thursday, May 11.
West Jefferson (13-8) is the No. 4 seed in the D-III tourney and was scheduled to host No. 12 Liberty Union Monday, May 8. The winner would advance to face either No. 15 Madison-Plains (3-21) or No. 2 Worthington Christian Wednesday, May 10 at 5 p.m.
Roughriders coach Jason Bogenrife’s squad has been on a roller coaster ride this season with a number of ups and downs, but he likes where his team is right now at the start of the tournament.
“We got off to a great start going 9-1,” he said. “We have battled through some tough injuries over the second half of the season. We are starting to play better over the last few games. We did receive the No. 4 seed and we are happy with our seed and bracket. The kids are ready to compete in this year’s state tourney. This is always a great time of year to get hot and make a deep run.”
Shekinah Christian (6-11) is the 11th seed in D-IV and will play at No. 3 Lancaster Fisher Catholic Tuesday, May 9, starting at 5 p.m. The winner will advance and host No. 14 Madison Christian Thursday, May 11.
Jonathan Alder is also considered the best team in Madison County in softball. The Lady Pioneers (16-3) were ranked No. 8 in the latest D-II state poll and are the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Central District tournament.
Alder will host No. 22 Columbus International Thursday, May 11 at 5 p.m. The winner will advance to face what will likely be No. 5 Granville May 16.
No. 12 London (6-15) opens the postseason Tuesday at a Hamilton Township team it defeated just a couple weeks ago. The winner will advance to face No. 13 Bishop Hartley May 11.
West Jefferson (16-4) is the third seed in D-III and has a first-round bye. The Lady Roughriders will tangle with either No. 15 Fairbanks or No. 21 Centerburg on Thursday at 5 p.m.
No. 18 Madison-Plains (5-17) will host No. 19 Grandview Tuesday, May 9, in the first round of the D-III tourney. The winner will advance to play at No. 2 seed Cardington-Lincoln Thursday, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.