The Airline Lady Vikings and Benton Lady Tigers are one win away from advancing to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Softball Tournament.
Based on seedings, Airline and Benton will both be underdogs in second-round games.
The No. 13 Lady Vikings (22-9) face No. 4 Central (23-6) on Friday at 5 p.m. in Baton Rouge in Class 5A. The No. 12 Lady Tigers (16-15) visit No. 5 South Terrebonne (23-7) on Saturday at noon in Bourg, which is about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans, in 4A.
The state tournament is April 27-29 at Frasch Park in Sulphur. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be played in seven non-select classes and five select divisions.
The last time a Bossier Parish team reached the state tournament was in 2014 when Benton reached the Class 4A quarterfinals.
Benton came very close last season. The Lady Tigers led No. 5 Neville after six innings before falling 3-2. Benton also came close in 2015, losing to Assumption 2-1 in the second round.
District 1-5A co-champion Airline defeated district rival Captain Shreve, the No. 20 seed, 16-0 in the first round Monday. Central edged No. 29 Natchitoches Central 6-4.
Central shared the District 4-5A championship with No. 11 Live Oak, which defeated Haughton 14-5 in the first round. The Lady Wildcats have won eight straight. Central’s last loss was to 5A No. 1 seed Alexandria Senior High 21-1 on March 24 in the St. Amant tournament.
Benton, the No. 12 seed, downed No. 21 Westgate 6-1 in the first round Tuesday. South Terrebonne defeated No. 28 South Lafourche 7-1.
South Terrebonne shared the District 7-4A championship with Morgan City, the No. 3 seed. The Lady Gators have won six in a row. Their last loss was 2-1 to LaSalle in the Vidalia tournament on April 1. LaSalle is the No. 1 seed in Class 1A.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com