Moline opens defense of the Class 4A state softball title as a road underdog later this month.|
The reigning Western Big 6 Conference champs are seeded second in the Normal Regional, according to the release of the IHSA's seeds and pairings for the 3A and 4A baseball and softball state tournaments.
Geneseo baseball (18-11 in 3A), Moline baseball (17-9 in 4A) and United Township softball (21-5 in 3A) earned No. 1 regional nods.
Moline softball was edged out for the same honor by the hosting Ironmen despite the two teams splitting a doubleheader in Normal on April 24.
Normal (21-4) does have a better overall record this season than six-time state softball champ Moline (18-9).
Regional action begins statewide in those classes and sports on May 21.
While Moline baseball and softball were regional top seeds last season, the honor is believed to be a first for Geneseo baseball.
The Leafs, who have never won a regional baseball title, were never a No. 1 seed in state tourney records reaching back to 1994 and readily available for research by The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.
The regional (May 26) and sectional (June 2) finals are followed by super-sectionals (June 4) around the state. The final four in either class is June 8-9, with softball in East Peoria and baseball in Joliet.
-- 4A softball: A state trophy winner each of the last two seasons, Moline opens action May 23 against third-seeded Pekin. If the Maroons win, they'll likely meet Normal for a third straight regional crown and trip to the Edwardsville Sectional.
The other No. 1 seeds there are the hosts, Minooka and O'Fallon. Moline beat O'Fallon in the sectional final last season.
The 18-team Aurora Sectional also feeds into the Normal Super-Sectional at Illinois State University's Marian Kneer Field. Lisle Benet is the top-seeded team there.
-- 3A softball: Instead of banging heads with arch-rival Moline this postseason, UT looks to survive a Rock Island Regional that includes state power Geneseo (second seed at 18-8), as well as Big 6 foes Rocky (third at 14-15) and Galesburg (fourth at 6-24).
With UT dropping down a class, state power Sterling, a usual entrant locally, goes north to the Freeport Regional, Belvidere Sectional and DeKalb Super-Sectional.
UT last won a regional in 2009; Geneseo claimed that honor locally the last two seasons in 3A.
The local postseason openers are UT vs. Galesburg (May 22) and Geneseo vs. Rocky (May 23).
The regional champ advances to a June 1 game in the UT-hosted East Moline Sectional, whose champion advances to the Seneca Super-Sectional.
LaSalle-Peru, last season's state runner-up in 3A, also is a regional top seed with UT, Metamora and East Peoria in the East Moline Sectional.
The local regional/sectional is paired with the New Lenox Sectional where Lemont, Crete-Monee, Oak Forest and Chicago Heights Marian are the regional top seeds.
-- 4A baseball: Moline seeks a fifth straight regional crown against Normal, Pekin and Bradley-Bourbonnais.
The Maroons' postseason opener against the latter school is May 23. The regional champ advances to a May 30 game in the Bloomington Sectional at Illinois Wesleyan's Horenberger Field.
Minooka, Alton and O'Fallon are the other top seeds in that sectional, which is paired in the Champaign Super-Sectional with the Romeoville Sectional. Plainfield North is No. 1 in the 19-team Romeoville event.
-- 3A baseball: In order, Geneseo is ranked ahead of UT (15-12), Rocky (11-15) and Northern Illinois Big 12 West rival Sterling (8-18) at the East Moline Regional.
Instead of the same grouping as softball, the Leafs caught a break with state powerhouse Galesburg (22-6) hosting its own regional and paired with Peoria schools.
So the local openers include Geneseo vs. Sterling (May 23) and UT vs. Rocky (May 24), with the champion advancing to the LaSalle-Peru Sectional for the May 30 semifinals.
The other regional top seeds in that sectional are the hosts, Ottawa and Big 6 champ Galesburg.
The Sycamore Sectional also feeds into the Augustana College-hosted Rock Island Super-Sectional. Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge, Belvidere North, Burlington Central, Maple Park Kaneland are No. 1 seeds in the Sycamore Sectional.
Rock island, IL Details
|(More Print Ads)|