By Brady Extin | The Times-Post
MADISON COUNTY — One team will enter postseason play looking to defend its sectional title, while the other will look to avenge a Round 1 loss from a year ago.
After the Indiana High School Athletic Association softball sectional pairings draw on Sunday, Pendleton Heights and Lapel both know their paths to sectional championships.
In Class 4A Sectional 9 at New Palestine High School, the Arabians will square off against Hoosier Heritage Conference opponent Greenfield-Central in Round 1.
A win would put them in line to face the winner of Anderson and Richmond in the semifinals.
The top half of the bracket sees the host, New Palestine, play Mt. Vernon, with the winner to face Muncie Central in the semifinals.
Both the Arabians (13-3) and Dragons (11-2) currently sit in the top 10 in the Class 4A rankings. Pendleton Heights is ranked No. 8, while the Dragons are ranked No. 6.
The two teams will face off in what could be a sectional final preview on May 11.
Pendleton Heights will get its first look at Greenfield-Central on May 9, and faces Mt. Vernon today.
At the time of press, Greenfield-Central has a record of 8-4, Mt. Vernon is 8-7, Anderson is 3-6-1, Richmond is 2-12, and Muncie Central is 0-7.
Last season, the Arabians knocked off the defending champs, Mt. Vernon, in the championship game.
In Class 2A Sectional 40, Lapel (9-6) will look to right its wrongs from a season ago in its Round 1 matchup.
Last season, Alexandria-Monroe (2-6-1) upset the Bulldogs 2-0 to end Lapel’s season earlier than expected.
The two teams will meet in Round 1 again this year, with the winner to face the host team, Frankton (8-3).
Winchester (3-7) and Monroe-Central (1-12) meet in the bottom half of the bracket, with the winner to play Wapahani (6-6).
The Bulldogs have
Alexandria-Monroe 15-5 this season in the Madison County tournament.
Against other sectional opponents, they lost to Frankton 9-4, and will play Wapahani later in the season.
Frankton currently holds the top spot of sectional teams, ranked No. 14 in Class 2A.
The tournament is scheduled to run from May 22 to May 27, with times to be announced at a later date.
The one-game regional tournament is scheduled for Tuesday, May 30. The four-team semistates are slated for Saturday, June 3, with the state finals to be at Purdue University’s Bittinger Stadium June 9-10.