This week marked the opening rounds of IESA Softball Regional play, with Braidwood Reed-Custer, Dwight, Grant Park, and Manteno serving as hosts for area teams.
We take a look at some of the action, and what lies ahead for the winners.
Braidwood Reed-Custer Regional
Top-seed Reed-Custer will face No. 4 seed Mahattan in their opening round game on Monday, September 10th at 4:30pm.
Manhattan topped No. 5 seed Wilmingon, 5-2 to advance out of the play-in round, to reach the semi-final game with the Panthers.
On the other end of the bracket, No. 3 seed Coal City topped No. 6 seed Minooka with a 15-2 run rule victory, earning the right to play No. 2 seed Shorewood Troy, who shut out No. 5 seed Channahon, 6-0 - they will face off on Tuesday, September 11th at 4:30pm in Braidwood.
The Regional Championship is scheduled for Wednesday, September 12th at 4:30pm.
Dwight Regional (Class A)
Megan Livingston posted another hitless performance from the circle for top-seeded Dwight, as the Redbirds easily handled No 8 seed Odell in their opening round matchup, 15-0.
The Redbirds secured the victory thanks to an 11-run third inning. The big inning was thanks to singles by Mia Buck, Addy Harms, and Livingston, an error on a ball put in play by Erin Anderson and Hailey Heath, and doubles by Anderson and Kira Bean.
The Redbirds will face No. 4 seed Pontiac St. Mary's in the semi-final round at 4:30pm, Monday at the DTHS Softball field.
St. Mary's blasted No. 5 seed South-Wilmington 17-1 in their opening round matchup.
In the lower half of the bracket, No. 2 seed Lockport Kelvin-Grove toppled No. 7 seed Lockport Taft 17-2, while No. 6 seed Seneca upset No 3 seed Mazon-Verona-Kinsman, 6-4 to advance.
They will play their semi-final game on Tuesday, September 11th at 4:30pm at the DTHS Softball Field, with the Regional Championship game slated for Wednesday, September 12th at 4:30pm.
Grant Park Regional (Class A)
In the Grant Park Regional, top-seed Bishop McNamara earned a first-round bye, and will face No. 4 seed Donovan in the semi-final round Monday afternoon at 4:30pm in Grant Park.
Donovan beat host No. 5 seed Grant Park 14-4 in their opening round game.
No. 2 seed Bourbonnais-St. George toppled No. 7 seed St. Anne, 13-3, and will face No. 3 seed Milford, who easily handled No. 6 seed Crete-Illinois Lutheran 17-7 to reach the semi-final, set for a 4:30pm first-pitch on Tuesday, September 11th.
The Grant Park Regional Championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, September 12th at 4:30pm.
Manteno Regional (Class AA)
Weather has been more cooperative over in Manteno for the early Regional games, with the Regional Championship set for Monday, September 10th at 4:30pm, featuring the No. 4 seed Beecher against No. 2 seed Bourbonnais UGC.
The Lady Cats held off a last-inning surge from No. 5 seed Limestone in their opening round action, to claim a 7-6 win and advance to the semi-final round against top-seed and host, Manteno.
After falling behind early, Beecher used a three-run third inning to take the lead against the Panthers. After allowing a pair of Panther runs in the first inning, Lady Cat starting pitcher Cynthia Hon shut-out the Manteno offense the rest of the way to earn the win. Hon went all seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, striking out two and walking none.
BUGC topped No. 7 seed Bradley Central, 7-5 in their opening round game to advance to a semi-final showdown with No. 3 seed Peotone, who beat No. 6 seed Kankakee Junior High, 8-0 to earn their semi-final berth.
The Tigers topped Peotone 3-2 on Saturday afternoon, setting the stage for a Regional Champioinship matchup with Beecher on Monday afternoon.