When: Today, Tuesday, Saturday
Where: Highland Community College
Teams: No. 1 Milledgeville, No. 2 Dakota, No. 3 Pearl City, No. 4 Aquin, No. 5 Eastland
Players to watch: Morgan Adolph, Milledgeville 3b/p; Sophie Brunner, Aquin; Emily Bush, Milledgeville p; Kristi Ebbers, Dakota c; Ashley Napean, Eastland p; Meghan Stichter, Pearl City ss
Outlook: The NUIC East champion Missiles, hoping to return to state, split their regular-season series with the Dakota Indians. Aquin recently hung tough with the Indians, and the heavy-hitting West Division champ Pearl City Wolves are not to be overlooked. Dakota hosting the sectional is a juicy carrot for the Indians.
Dark horse: Dakota
SVM prediction: Milledgeville
Advancement: Winner to Dakota Sectional vs. AFC winner, 7 p.m. May 22
When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday
Teams: No. 1 Amboy, No. 2 Newman, No. 3 AFC, No. 4 Indian Creek
Players to watch: Lauren Akre, Amboy p; Cassey Doege, Amboy ss/p; Cassidy Koning, AFC p; Sarah Matson, AFC if/of; Mary Alice Oswalt, Newman ss; Laura Turnroth, Newman p
Outlook: This one is the Clippers’ to lose. Akre has come into her own nicely, and there’s hitting up and down the lineup. However, if a few Comets bats get hot and support Turnroth, Newman has a shot.
Dark horse: Newman
SVM prediction: Amboy
Advancement: Winner to Dakota Sectional vs. Aquin winner, 7 p.m. May 22
When: Monday, Tuesday, Saturday
Where: Quarterfinals – German Valley, Oregon; semis, championship – Byron High School
Teams: No. 1 Stillman Valley, No. 2 Byron, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Forreston-Polo, No. 5 West Carroll, No. 6 Stockton
Players to watch: Payton Abbott, Stillman Valley P; Meg Cullor, Forreston-Polo ss; Karissa Dobson, Stillman Valley 3B, Ieshia Larson, West Carroll of; Abby Peterson, Forreston-Polo p; Hope Smith, Oregon c; Allison Thulen, West Carroll p; Bree Tourtillott, Oregon c/if
Outlook: While Stillman, bearing only one blemish in the BNC West, is the favorite, whoever wins the Byron-Oregon matchup will be armed with oodles of confidence. The teams split two one-run games, the Tigers winning 14-13, the Hawks 8-7.
Favorite: Stillman Valley
Dark horse: Oregon
SVM prediction: Stillman Valley
Advancement: Winner to Oregon Sectional vs. North Boone winner, 7 p.m. May 21
2A Bureau Valley
When: Monday, Tuesday, Saturday
Where: Bureau Valley High School
Teams: No. 1 Alleman, No. 2 Morrison, No. 3 Riverdale, No. 4 Bureau Valley, No. 5 Erie-Prophetstown, No. 6 Fulton
Players to watch: Lexi Ferrari, Alleman 2b/3b; Chelsea Eads, Morrison c; Dana Kepner, Bureau Valley; Sadie Mosher, Riverdale p; Lauren Pannier, Morrison p/1b; Irini Petros, Bureau Valley p; Mackenzie Sanchez, Alleman ss; Katherine Wayne, Fulton p; Allie Wiersema, Morrison p/2b
Outlook: The competition in the Western Big 6 has the Alleman Pioneers prepared for anything this field will throw at them. However, the Fillies have two pitchers who throw well, and a balanced lineup. The rest of the Three Rivers teams are at least one piece from being a major threat. Mosher will need lots of help to pull multiple upsets.
Dark horse: Morrison
SVM prediction: Morrison
Advancement: Winner to Oregon Sectional vs. St. Bede winner, 4:30 p.m. May 21