PREP SOFTBALL: IHSAA softball pairings favor area contenders

Apr. 28—With nearly three weeks to go in the 2024 softball season, the IHSAA has released sectional draws to help teams gameplan and hosting sites prepare for the incoming postseason.

Fairfield and Northridge both hold hosting duties in Class 3A and Class 4A, respectively. Both the Falcons and Raiders have exciting teams this season but will have their work cut out for them to advance further in the tournament and possibly bring home a title.

In Class 4A, Penn (14-5) returns as the state champion from last season. The Kingsmen appear as heavy favorites. Northridge will receive a home turf advantage as well as getting a bye in the top half of the bracket. Other teams in the grouping include Elkhart (5-6-1), Concord (3-9), Goshen (2-10) and Warsaw (1-11).

Fairfield will welcome in a Sectional 21 group which doesn't seem to have an early favorite. Wawasee (7-7) boasts a strikeout machine in Haylee Allen in the circle. NorthWood (6-7) though beat the Warriors at home in the lone matchup so far between the two.

Fairfield (10-5) recently reached the Northeast Corner Conference Tournament title game and has some power in their bats that could pay dividends down the stretch in a close contest.

Westview (3-5) takes advantage of a unbalanced Sectional 35 bracket in Central Noble. The Cougars (13-4), who won the NECC Tournament title this past week, draw Eastside (13-3) in opener for both schools. Westview's path to the title game would be through Churubusco (5-6) in the opener and Prairie Heights (5-6) in the semifinal.

Full sectional brackets can be found below. More details will be finalized as the postseason gets closer. Softball sectionals are set to begin on May 20, lasting through May 25.

PREP SOFTBALL — Sectional pairings

Class 4A Northridge Sectional 4

Game 1: Concord (3-9) at Penn (14-5)

Game 2: Warsaw (1-11) at Elkhart (5-6-1)

Game 3: Northridge (8-6) vs. Game 1 winner

Game 4: Goshen (2-10) vs. Game 2 winner

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner

Class 3A Fairfield Sectional 21

Game 1: East Noble (8-4) at Lakeland (6-7)

Game 2: West Noble (4-8) at Fairfield (10-5)

Game 3: Wawasee (7-7) vs. Game 1 winner

Game 4: NorthWood (6-7) vs. Game 2 winner

Championship: Game 3 winners vs. Game 4 winner

Class 2A Central Noble Sectional 35

Game 1: Westview (3-5) at Churubusco (5-6)

Game 2: Eastside (13-3) at Central Noble (13-4)

Game 3: Prairie Heights (5-6) vs Game 1 winner

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at