CLINTON — When the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) unveiled regional softball pairings Monday, it set up some potential showdowns between local teams.
Preston, Calamus-Wheatland, Marquette Catholic, Camanche, Northeast, Maquoketa and Central DeWitt may all wind up facing familiar foes in the second or third rounds of the regional softball tournaments. Region 4 of the Class 1A tournament — particularly — features a heavy dose of the Big East Conference at the top half of the bracket, with Midland joining the Warriors, Trojans and Mohawks.
Meanwhile, Clinton will meet a Mississippi Athletic Conference rival, Davenport West, in Round 1 of Class 5A Region 5, and Bellevue will face North Linn in 2A, rounding out local teams.
Coincidently, Clinton and West wrap up the season in a doubleheader July 5. They square off again on Thursday, July 11, in Davenport. River Queens coach Trina Cewe said the staff had a chance to review the region Monday night.
“The last couple of years we went up to Dubuque, so we had to go scout the teams,” she said. “It’s nice that we’re able to play (West) at the end of the season.”
Region 5 also features No. 2-ranked Pleasant Valley, a major hurdle for everyone, according to Cewe.
Regionals kick off Monday, July 8, when Cal-Wheat travels to Springville for Round 1 of the Class 1A tournament at 7 p.m. Should the Warriors win, it will set up a July 10 contest with Marquette, who received a bye after compiling an 18-8 record and a No. 12 IGHSAU ranking at selection time. Preston, also with a bye, will face the winner between Midland and Central City, also on July 10.
“I think Marquette’s the team to beat,” Preston coach Tim Zeimet said, adding that the Trojans and Mohawks met for a third time last weekend at Davenport Assumption. “They’re just a tough team, relentless defensively.”