High school softball: Three parish teams make playoffs

1904

The Airline Lady Vikings, Haughton Lady Bucs and Benton Lady Tigers are headed to the LHSAA softball playoffs.

District 1-5A co-champion Airline (21-9), the No. 13 seed, will host a familiar foe in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. The Lady Vikings face district rival Captain Shreve (18-15), the No. 20 seed, at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Airline swept its two district games against Shreve, winning 8-0 on March 7 and 12-1 on March 30.

Haughton (14-14), the No. 22 seed, visits No. 11 Live Oak (18-8) in a 5A first-round game.

Benton (14-15), the No. 12 seed, hosts No. 21 New Iberia Westgate (14-19) in a Class 4A first-round game.

Parkway narrowly missed making the playoffs. The Lady Panthers dropped from No. 31 in the unofficial Class 5A power rankings released Monday to No. 33 in the final rankings. The top 32 teams generally make the playoffs, but district champions automatically qualify.

Parkway’s final power ranking of 10.5512 was higher than No. 32 Chalmette’s (10.3086), but Chalmette won the District 8-5A championship. Therefore the Lady Panthers were bumped down to No. 33.

Parkway closed its season 10-15.

For the first time, the playoffs are divided into seven non-select (public schools) classes and five select (private, magnet, some charter schools) divisions. The non-select/select split has been in place for football since 2013 and was extended to basketball, baseball and softball this school year.

Alexandria Senior High (23-2) is the No. 1 seed in 5A. Ouachita Parish (28-4) is seeded second.

Two-time defending state champion North DeSoto (26-3) is the top seed in Class 4A. DeRidder (28-4) is seeded second.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Softball Tournament is April 27-29 at Frasch Park in Sulphur. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in all classes and divisions will be played over the three days.

No parish team qualified for the state tournament last season. Benton reached the second round and had No. 5 seed Neville on the ropes before falling 3-2.

Benton was the last parish school to reach the state tournament. The Lady Tigers lost to North DeSoto in the 2014 quarterfinals.

Airline fell to West Monroe 4-3 in the first round last season.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com