Four Cloverbelt team still alive in WIAA softball sectionals
Playing in the Cloverbelt Conference doesn't guarantee playoff success for its members in WIAA prep softball.
But it doesn't hurt either.
Four teams form the conference have made it to their respective sectional tournaments, two in Division 4 and two in Division 5. Given the fact a league team played at state last season (Thorp) chances aren't bad one of these teams will make it to Madison, including Tri-County Area Teams No. 3 ranked Fall Creek and Osseo-Fairchild.
"Our league certainly has prepared us with the quality of competition and play we get in every ballgame," O-F head coach Josh Anderson said.
The sectional tournaments are this week starting Tuesday, May 30 with the finals on June 1. Both Osseo-Fairchild and Fall Creek are in Division 4 but in different sectional tournaments. As top seed The Crickets (24-2-1) are at home for a semifinal match-up against No. 2 seed Colfax (13-7) while the Thunder (13-8) are at the top-seed in their sectional, No. 4 ranked Blair-Taylor (23-3). The other semifinals in their respective tournament brackets have No. 1 ranked and top-seed Grantsburg (24-3) vs. their Lakeland West rival No. 2 and No. 10 ranked Shell Lake (16-6) and No. 1 seed and No. 7 ranked Auburndale (15-4) vs. Stratford (16-9). (The Marawood South Conference has three teams in sectionals - Auburndale, Stratford and Wisconsin Rapids Assumption).
Fall Creek has played Colfax already this season, beating the Vikings 15-0. If FC plays Grantsburg, who they lost to in the sectional finals a year ago. They will at least play them at home instead of up north where they've been the past two seasons in the sectional finals as the Crickets are the sectional tournament hosts. The championship game is Thursday, June 1 at 5 p.m. with the hope being at home will prove to be the difference.
Osseo-Fairchild will take on their fourth straight Dairyland Conference team when taking on the Wildcats Tuesday, May 30 at Blair-Taylor. This is O-F's second straight appearance in sectionals (Fall Creek has been in three straight sectional tournaments). They lost to last year's sectional champ Onalaska Luther in the semifinals. B-T barely edged Luther in their regional championship game by a 4-3 score.
The state tournament is next weekend in Madison at Goodman Diamond on the University of Wisconsin campus.
WIAA Division 4 Tournament Bracket: https://halftime.wiaawi.org/CustomApps/Tournaments/Brackets/HTML/2023_So...