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Monday, June 6, 2016

State Softball Tournament Preview

THE STATE TOURNAMENT:  The 41st Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Softball Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, June 9-11, at Goodman Diamond on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $8 per session for quarterfinals and semifinals, $6 for each championship game and $14 for an all-day ticket on Thursday and Friday. Tickets are available at the stadium or online with a convenience fee per session ticket:  

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND PAIRINGS:  The single elimination tournament features eight teams in Division 1 and four each in Divisions 2, 3 and 4. The second game of each session will begin approximately 30 minutes following the first game.

Thursday, June 9
Division 1 Quarterfinals
Game-1:  Stevens Point (26-3) vs. Kenosha Tremper (17-10) - 9 a.m.
Game-2:  Pulaski (26-1) vs. Divine Savior Holy Angels (22-6) - 11 a.m.*
Game-3: Verona (22-6) vs. Watertown (20-7) - 1:30 p.m.
Game-4:  Oshkosh North (23-2) vs. Union Grove (27-2) - 3:30 p.m.*

Division 2 Semifinals
Game-1:  Northwestern/South Shore (24-4) vs. Delavan-Darien (24-6) - 6 p.m.
Game-2:  New London (25-4) vs. New Berlin West (24-5) - 8 p.m.*

Friday, June 10
Division 4 Semifinals
Game-1:  Cochrane-Fountain City (24-4) vs. Southwestern (24-3) - 9 a.m.
Game-2:  Thorp (26-2) vs. Oakfield (18-8) - 11 a.m.*

Division 3 Semifinals 
Game-1:  Grantsburg (25-2) vs. Poynette (23-6) - 1:30 p.m.
Game-2:  Laconia (27-0) vs. Mishicot (24-4) - 3:30 p.m.*

Division 1 Semifinals
Game 5:  Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 - 6 p.m. 
Game 6:  Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 - 8 p.m.*

Saturday, June 11
Division 4 Championship Game - 10:05 a.m. 
Division 3 Championship Game - 12:35 p.m.
Division 2 Championship Game - 3:05 p.m. 
Division 1 Championship Game - 5:35 p.m.
* Approximate times

PRE-FINALS LIVE ON NFHS NETWORK:  The Division 1 quarterfinals and the semifinals of all four divisions of the WIAA State Softball Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, log-on to www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription graphic in the middle of the page.

FINALS AIRED LIVE ON FS WISCONSIN:  Watch the WIAA State Softball Tournament finals of all four divisions live on the FS Wisconsin Alternate Channel. Check local cable listings for the channel in your area. The championship finals will also be streamed live on the FoxSportGo app. 

TEAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY:  The WIAA has been sponsoring the State Softball Tournament since 1976. Stevens Point leads all programs in State titles won with eight. Kimberly has claimed seven titles, and Marion has six. Both Denmark and Oakfield have won five. Stevens Point has appeared in the most State Tournaments with 17. Ashwaubenon is next on the list with 16. Kimberly ranks third with 14 appearances, followed by Oakfield with 13, and Homestead and Verona with 12.

LAST YEAR:  Westosha Central won the Division 1 State championship for the second time in the last three seasons by shutting out Watertown 3-0 in the championship game. La Crosse Logan won the Division 2 title by blanking Waupun 3-0 in the final. Laconia was the Division 3 champion with a 2-1 victory over Poynette in the State final, and Pacelli won the Division 4 title by edging Oakfield 1-0 in the championship game.

THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Watertown advances to State for the second consecutive season and for the ninth time overall. The Goslings’ previous experiences at State have produced three runner-up finishes, one in 1981, another in 1984 and again last season. They are the champions of the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference and the representatives from the Arrowhead Sectional after defeating Menomonee Falls 3-1 in the final. Stevens Point is making its membership-leading 17th overall appearance at State. The Panthers have won the most State championships of any member school with eight. They won four straight titles from 2001-04, won back-to-back titles in 2008-09 and added another in 2011. In addition, they captured the State Class A championship in 1986. Furthermore, they were runners-up in 1985 and 2000. They are the champions of the Wisconsin Valley Conference this year, and they advance to State from the Marshfield Sectional following an 11-4 win over Hudson in the final. Verona is making its second appearance in the last three seasons and its 12th overall. The Wildcats made eight straight tournament appearances from 2001-2008. They finished runner-up in 2001, 2002 and 2008. They are the runners-up in the Big Eight Conference this spring. The Wildcats earned their berth in the State Tournament with a 3-0 blanking of Holmen in the final of the Sun Prairie Sectional. Union Grove qualifies for the State Tournament for the sixth time and for the first time in Division 1. All of its previous experiences have been in Division 2. The Broncos won the State title in 2007 and again in their most recent trip to Madison in 2011. They are the champions of the Badger Sectional by virtue of their 8-2 win over defending champion Westosha Central in the final. They finished runner-up to Westosha Central in the Southern Lakes Conference this spring. Kenosha Tremper makes its fourth State appearance and its first since 1986 when the Trojans advanced to the semifinals. They also reached the semifinals in their other two experiences at State in 1978 and 1983. They finished in second place in the Southeast Conference this spring, and they are the representatives out of the Greenfield Sectional with a 9-5 win over Kenosha Bradford/Reuther in the final. Pulaski returns to State for the third time overall and for the first time since 1996 when the Red Raiders finished runner-up. Their initial trip to State resulted in a loss in the quarterfinals in 1991. They are the champions of the Fox River Classic Conference this season. The Red Raiders defeated Hortonville 4-2 in the final of the Bay Port Sectional to advance to the quarterfinals. Oshkosh North returns to the State Tournament for the second time overall and for the first time since 1978. That appearance resulted in a defeat in the first round. The Spartans’ return to the tournament field is a result of their 1-0 victory over Kaukauna in the sectional final held in Oshkosh. During the regular season, they placed second in the Fox Valley Association behind Kaukauna. Divine Savior Holy Angels will be making its first appearance in the State Tournament following a 3-0 shutout over Germantown in the sectional final played at Germantown. The Dashers finished in a first-place tie with Menomonee Falls in the Greater Metro Conference this season.

THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  New London will make its fourth consecutive appearance at State and its fifth overall. They won the State title in 2013 and were runners-up in 2005 and 2014. The Bulldogs’ 9-3 win over Southern Door in the Little Chute Sectional final extended their streak of appearances. They finished first in the Bay Conference standings this spring. The first and only other time New Berlin West participated in the State Tournament was in 2013 when the Vikings fell in the semifinals. They advance to State for the second time following a 13-6 win over Grafton in the Chilton Sectional final. The Vikings finished the regular season atop the standings in West Division of the Woodland Conference. Northwestern/South Shore advances to State for the first time, although Northwestern won the Class B title as a stand-alone program in its only appearance in 1981. This season, the Tigers edged Merrill 4-3 in the sectional final hosted by Merrill to gain entry into the tournament field. They finished in a first-place tie with Bloomer in the Heart O’ North Conference this year. Delavan-Darien advances to the State semifinals for the first time following its 9-0 victory over McFarland in the sectional final played in McFarland. The Comets finished in a fourth-place tie in the Southern Lakes Conference during the regular season.

THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Laconia seeks a second consecutive championship after winning the title last season. The Spartans advance to the semifinals for the third straight season and for the fourth time overall. The Spartans’ experiences in the State Tournament in 2009 and 2014 resulted in runner-up finishes. This season, they were the champions in the Flyway Conference. They advance to State through the Pacelli Sectional with a 2-0 shutout over Stratford in the final. Last year’s runner-up Poynette is making its second consecutive appearance and its ninth overall. The Pumas won the Division 2 title in 1998 and added Division 3 crowns in 2005 and 2011. They also have had four runner-up finishes, which came in 1999, 2003, 2012 and again last season. They finished runner-up to Columbus in the North Division of the Capitol Conference this season, and they have advanced to the semifinals with a 5-3 victory over Luther in the sectional final played at Poynette. Grantsburg qualifies for the eighth time in its program’s history and for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The Pirates won State titles in 2006 and 2009. This season, they are the champions of the West Division of the Lakeland Conference, and they advanced to the State semifinals through the Eau Claire Memorial Sectional with a 9-3 win over Elk Mound in the final. Mishicot makes its second appearance in the past three seasons after advancing to State for the first time in 2014. The Indians’ defeated Winnebago Lutheran 11-4 in the Germantown Sectional final to return to the final field of four. They placed second in the Big East Conference standings behind Random Lake this spring.

THE DIVISION 4 FIELD:  Last year’s runner-up Oakfield is making its 13th State appearance overall. The Oaks have won five State championships, including four in the last seven seasons. The Oaks are pursuing their sixth State title overall with Division 4 championships in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014, as well as the Division 3 crown in 1997. They were also the Division 4 runners-up in 2004 and again last season. This season, they placed third in the North Division of the Trailways Conference. The Oaks earned their third straight appearance at State by cruising through the New Holstein Sectional by scoring double-figures in each of their tournament games, including a 12-3 win over Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran in the final. Thorp advances to the State Tournament for the fourth time and for the first time since 2012. The Cardinals are seeking their first State title after placing second in two of their three previous State Tournament appearances. Those runner-up finishes came in 2008 and 2009. They downed Three Lakes/Phelps 9-0 in the final of the D.C. Everest Sectional, and they finished the regular season atop the standings in the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference. Cochrane-Fountain City is appearing in the State Tournament for the second time in the past three seasons after its first-ever experience in 2014, which resulted in a runner-up finish. The Pirates return to the field of four following a 7-1 triumph over Shell Lake in the Eau Claire Memorial Sectional final. They finished in first place in the Dairyland Conference this year. Southwestern is appearing in the State Tournament for the first time. The Wildcats advance to the State semifinals with a 5-3 win over De Soto in the Belmont Sectional final. This spring, they finished first in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League standings. 

FOLLOW THE TOURNEY ON TWITTER:  Receive the updates of the State Softball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter account @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaasoftball. Also like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram at wiaawi, and add us on Snapchat at wiaawis.

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to get results will be to access the softball homepage on the WIAA website at:  http://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Softball.aspx and choose the appropriate results links.

# WIAA #
Release by WIAA Communications
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