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Softball | General | 5/5/2022

HS Playoff Preview: Mid-Atlantic

Jerry Miller     
Photo: Perfect Game
The Mid-Atlantic Region is in full swing. Playoff season is approaching rapidly in all the states in this area, and there are a number of teams that are making a drive towards the state finals and an eventual championship.

Virginia



The Virginia High School League will sponsor softball championships in six classes. The finals are traditionally part of the VHSL Spring Jubilee where state crowns are awarded in Baseball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Tennis in addition to softball.

Softball playoffs get underway on May 25 and conclude with the state finals and Spring Jubilee on June 11.

The 1A and 2A Class will be played at Radford University and Moyers Sports Complex in Salem. Liberty University will host the Class 3A and 4A championships, while James Robinson (Fairfax) and Lake Braddock (Burke) Secondary Schools will host the 5A and 6A divisions.

The Class A division has a number of clubs in contention for the state title this spring. There will be undoubted upsets along the way, but one of the top ranked clubs could very well claim the trophy when all is said and done. Leading the way to Salem are Chincoteague, Fort Chiswell (Max Meadows), Honaker, Auburn (Riner), Grayson County (Independence) and Mathews.

The 2A division, also competing for a chance to play in Salem, is loaded with outstanding clubs, all of which have had solid spring seasons to date. Each of the following programs have posted double digit victory marks. Leading the pack with an undefeated record is Appomattox County (Appomattox). Also in the mix are Randolph-Henry (Charlotte Court House), Tazewell, Richlands, Buckingham Dan River (Ringgold), James River (Buchanan), King William, and Clarke County (Berryville). There could well be an upset or two along the playoff trail, but don’t be surprised to see the state quarter-finals with a number of the top ranked teams still in the hunt.

Two undefeated clubs lead the way at the 3A level. Staunton River (Moneta) and Fort Defiance are both unscathed to date. With the regular season winding down, both are primed and ready for a long playoff run. Also in the hunt for the 3A championship banner are New Kent, Lord Botetourt (Daleville), Cave Spring (Roanoke), Carroll County (Hillsville), William Monroe (Standardsville) and Turner Ashby (Bridgewater).

Orange County (Orange) and Tuscarora (Leesburg) are both undefeated and racing towards a showdown in the 4A level. These two outstanding clubs will face competition from a group that has also posted double digit wins on the spring. Hanover (Mechanicsburg), Amherst County (Amherst), Halifax County (South Boston), and Powhatan will make their presence felt before the playoffs come to an end.

Five solid teams lead the way at the 5A level. Hickory (Chesapeake), Kempsville (Virginia Beach), Midlothian, Riverbend, and Clover Hill (Midlothian) are riding solid season record into the playoffs.

The Class 6A division is packed with outstanding clubs all of which are capable of taking home the crown. There is little separation in the abilities of any of the 6A frontrunners. The competition will be fierce on the road to finals. Pacing the 6A group are Grassfield (Chesapeake), James Madison (Vienna), Battlefield (Haymarket), Kellam (Virginia Beach), Cosby (Midlothian), Osbourn Park (Manassas), South Lakes (Reston), Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach) and West Springfield (Springfield).

West Virginia

Three championships will be awarded at the state finals May 25-26. The West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission will hold their finals at Rock Field and Craft Field in South Charleston.

Leading the field in the Class A division are a group of programs that have posted outstanding regular season records. Each is hoping to carry momentum into the playoffs. Wahama (Mason), Buffalo, Sherman (Seth), St. Mary’s, Doddridge County (West Union), and Ravenswood hope to ride solid pitching and defense, while adding just enough timely offense to get to and through the playoffs. Don’t be surprised to see an upset or two along the way as the Class A division is highly competitive.

There are so many talented Class AA teams that it is almost unfair to just mention 10 of them. The AA level is loaded with gifted softball players and storied programs. The road to South Charleston will be just as exciting as the finals. Well, almost! Nitro, Hoover (Clendenin), Winfield, Oak Glen (New Cumberland), Sissonville (Charleston), Lincoln (Shinnston), Keyser, Weir (Weirton), Scott (Madison), and Philip Barbour (Philippi) have all posted at least 10 wins this spring. Each is looking to add to their impressive victories total.

The drive to the Class AAA West Virginia state title will be daunting. The top clubs have put up impressive numbers this spring and each is well-coached and has the requisite pitching to make a long playoff run. Lincoln County (Hamlin), St. Alban’s, Hurricane, Cabell Midland (Ona), South Charleston, and Jefferson (Shenandoah Junction) will battle it out all the way to the championship.

Maryland

Teams from four divisions 1A–4A will converge on The University of Maryland Softball Complex in College Park the weekend of May 27-28 to compete for the coveted Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association championships.

Two undefeated programs, Patterson (Bel Air) and Carver A&T (Towsen) are currently undefeated and at the top of the 1A division. North Dorchester (Hurlock), St. Michael’s, and Colonel Richardson (Fredericksburg) will also figure into the chase for the crown.

Damascus, at 15-0, is the clear front runner in the 2A division. Also in the hunt is a group of teams that have posted fine regular season records, including Calvert (Prince Frederick). La Plata, Middletown, Queen Anne’s County (Centreville), and Harford Tech (Bel Air).

The 3A division appears to be a race among four equally talented teams. There are a few others that could join the mix, but Chopticon (Morganza), Northern (Owings), Huntingtown, and Decatur (Berlin), each have the look of a champion.

The 4A division is led by two outstanding teams who have distanced themselves from the rest of the conference. Leonardtown and Bethesda-Chevy Chase (Bethesda) are on a collision course in a battle for the division crown.

Washington DC

The District of Columbia State Athletic Association will hold its championship competition at the Washington Nationals Youth Academy May 22.

Top teams in the District this spring include, National Cathedral, Wilson, St. John’s, and Maret. Each of these teams is more than capable of winning the championship.

Delaware

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs get underway the week of May 17. The championships of the DIAA will be played from May 23-25.

Leading the way this spring are a number of solid clubs headed by perineal power Smyrna and defending state champion Caravel. Sussex Catholic (Georgetown), Delaware Military Academy (Wilmington), Laurel, Indian River (Dagsboro) and Milford will certainly have a say as to who makes it to the finals.

New Jersey

For those not up on high school competition around the nation, some of the very best interscholastic softball in the country is played in New Jersey. The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJIAA) holds separate playoffs for their Public and Private school members. When those two champs are crowned, the Association holds a Tournament of Champions. The Private School Championships will take place June 3. The Public School title will be contested on June 4. The Tournament of Champions takes place June 10. All games will be played at Ivy Hill Park in Newark.

Teams that have a chance to play through the June finals are Middletown South (Middletown), Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township), Donavan Catholic (Toms River), Bordentown, Clayton, Burlington Township (Burl), Rahway, and Indian Hills (Oakland).

New York

The highly-competitive New York Public High School Athletic Association will hold its state championships, where five titles will be awarded, at the Moriches Athletic Complex June 11.

Numerous teams are off the outstanding starts as programs gear up for a long run to and through the playoffs.

At the Class AA level, Monroe-Woodbury (Central Valley) with their unblemished 12-0 mark, is leading a strong contingent of teams. Shenendehowa (Clifton Park), Corning-Painted Post (Corning), Valley Center (Montgomery), Fairport, Warwick, Lancaster, and Orchard Park are all contenders that have posted impressive regular season records.

East Islip (Islip Terrace), at 16-0, heads up a strong group of Class A clubs. Queensbury, Roosevelt (Hyde Park), Minisink Valley (State Hill), Webster Schroeder (Webster), Troy, and Mount Sinai are all capable of making a run at the title.

In Class B, Ichabod Crane (Valatie) boats a perfect 10-0 mark at the mid-point of their season. There are a few other clubs that have a similar mark and have the players to make a strong drive towards the championship. Schalmont (Schenectady), Fonda-Fultonville (Fonda), Haverling (Bath), and Wellsville are all sound programs who will make some noise in the tournament.

Three undefeated clubs head up the Class C division. Chatham, Bolivar-Richburg (Bolivar), and Avon have yet to taste defeat. These three outstanding programs will be tested by, among others, Bloomfield Keshequa (Nunda) and Caledonia-Mumford (Caledonia).

Westfield and their perfect record to date, leads the Class D level. Hamilton and Eldred could pose a threat to the top-ranked Westfield nine.

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