Springtime in South Mississippi always creates havoc for baseball and softball playoffs and this year seems to be no exception.
Game one of the state softball playoffs involving 16 teams from the “Southern Six” was scheduled to begin on Friday, however, the threat of rain has pushed most series to a Thursday night start. Game 2 of the series is set for Friday and game 3, if necessary, is set for Monday.
Division winners have the weekend off and await the winners of the play-in weekend. In 6A, it’s D’Iberville and Hancock while George County and PRC in 5A all wait to see who their opponents will be. In 3A St. Patrick awaits the outcome of the Franklin County-McLaurin series.
The 6A bracket was not finalized until Wednesday night when Ocean Springs defeated Pascagoula 19-9 to secure the 2 seed in Division 7-6A. The Lady Greyhounds now host Pearl with game 1 in Jackson County Thursday or Friday. The winner of that series will take on Hancock. The win by Ocean Springs sends St. Martin on the road Thursday as they travel to Warren Central to take on the Lady Vikings. Game 2 of the series will be back at St. Martin on Saturday. The Brandon Lady Bulldogs await the St. Martin-Warren Central survivor.
On the other side of the 6A South bracket two familiar foes matchup as Harrison Central welcomes Oak Grove to Lyman Thursday at 6 pm. Game 2 will be in Lamar County on Saturday. A win for the Lady Red Rebels sets up a matchup with another set of Warriors in D’Iberville. Gulfport also opens with a familiar playoff foe as they travel to Petal to take on the defending 6A state champion Lady Panthers. Game 1 is set for 6 pm Thursday with game 2 back at Gulfport on Saturday. The winner of this series is set to match up with the top-ranked NW Rankin Lady Cougars.
In 5A, Picayune opens with 3-seeded Hattiesburg with the winner of this series taking on George County. West Harrison travels to Waynesboro to take on the Wayne County Lady War Eagles with Florence awaiting the series survivor. Thursday night in Hurley, the Lady Hornets of East Central, who have won 12 games in a row, host Brookhaven. Game 2 of that series returns to Ole Brook on Saturday. Pearl River Central awaits the winner of that series. Vancleave is on the road for game 1 as the Lady Bulldogs travel to Soso to take on West Jones with game 2 set for Saturday in Vancleave. Division 6 winner South Jones will take on the winner of the series.
In 4A, Poplarville hosts Raymond for games 1 and 3 if necessary. The Lady Hornets will take on former division rival Greene County if they advance. The bottom of the bracket has Bay High hosting Mendenhall Thursday night at 6 with the series winner taking on Sumrall. Stone opens the playoffs on the road as they take on NE Jones. The Lady Tigers will head to Wiggins on Saturday for game 2 and North Pike awaits the winner of the catfight. The 2nd round of the playoffs is set to begin at the home of the division winners on Friday, April 28, but as we see weather could play a role in that round as well so stay tuned.