SOUTH MADISON COUNTY — There’s nothing like playing at home.
Both Pendleton Heights and Lapel will hope to use that as an advantage later this month when the 2022 Indiana High School Athletic Association State Softball State Tournament gets underway.
The sectional tournament, the first round of the IHSAA post season series, is scheduled to be played May 23-28.
A year ago, the host schools, Mt. Vernon (Class 4A Sectional 9) and Frankton (Class 2A Sectional 40) won sectional titles.
This year, Pendleton Heights will play host to six-team Class 4A Sectional 9. Lapel will play host to the seven-team Class 2A Sectional 40 event.
On Sunday, the IHSAA conducted its annual draw for first-round sectional matchups.
Pendleton Heights (14-3) has the best record and is one of only two teams with winning records (as of May 2) in the tourney to be held at Legends Field.
They will open tournament play in Game 1 against Richmond (3-6). The second game on the opening night will pit two Hancock County rivals, defending tournament champion Mt. Vernon (4-5) and Greenfield-Central (9-4).
Both Mt. Vernon and Greenfield-Central are opponents on the Arabians regular season schedule, but neither game has yet been played.
Pendleton Heights is scheduled to play host to Mt. Vernon today (Thursday, May 5). The Greenfield-Central game is slated for May 12.
Anderson (4-5) and Muncie Central (2-4) received byes into the semifinal round. Anderson will play the Richmond/Pendleton Heights winners. Muncie Central will take on the Greenfield-Central/Mt. Vernon winner.
Like Pendleton Heights on its home field, Lapel will play the first game in Class 2A Sectional 40.
The Bulldogs (7-5) will take on Alexandria (2-9-1) in the tourney opener. The winner will take on Elwood (8-4) in one of two semifinal games.
In Game 2, Winchester (3-7) will play Frankton (9-4). Game 3 will be a battle between Wapahani (6-7) and Monroe Central (3-11). The Game 2 and Game 3 victors will meet in the second semifinal contest.
Lapel has played three games against possible sectional opponents and will have five total prior to the tournament.
The Bulldogs lost 18-4 to Elwood on April 14. They have split games with Frankton, losing 6-1 on March 29 before beating the rival Eagles on April 16, 8-6.
Lapel still has games remaining against Wapahani (May 9) and Alexandria (May 18).
Frankton hosted, and won, last year’s tournament.
Game dates and times will be released later.