The resume doesn’t match the draw. But Dave Johnson isn’t griping.
“We have a great opportunity,” said Johnson, the softball coach at Central City. “If we’re fortunate to get to Friday, a chance to probably play the two-time defending champions (Lansing Kee) ... what more can you ask?”
In terms of record, Central City (30-10) is, by a wide margin, the best area team in action on opening night of regionals. The Wildcats host Starmont (13-13) in a Class 1A first-rounder at 7 p.m. Monday.
Central City has won 10 consecutive games and 17 of its last 20. A good portion of that surge has become since the pairings were released by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. Thus, a draw that’s probably tougher than the Wildcats deserve.
“We knew going into the season that a lot of our tougher competition was in the first part of the season and that we would make up ground in the second half,” said Johnson, who has guided the Wildcats to their second consecutive 30-win season. “Our pitching has gotten a lot more solid lately.”
Sophomore Leeah Weber is 18-5 with a 1.71 ERA and 101 strikeouts against 15 walks. Eighth-grader Sara Reid is 9-5.
If the Wildcats do the expected and get through the first two rounds Monday and Tuesday, they’ll get their shot at No. 1 Kee (33-5), which has a first-round bye and hosts either Postville (0-15) or Elkader Central (3-29) Tuesday. But, Johnson said, “We’re not taking anything for granted. “We’re not a shoo-in by any means.”
Kee is among the upper-level teams that get rolling Tuesday. That list also includes No. 8 Lisbon (30-8) and No. 9 Sigourney (20-6) in 1A and No. 8 Iowa City Regina (20-15), No. 11 North Linn (36-4) and No. 14 Jesup (24-11) in 2A.
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Regina is the defending 2A state champion. North Linn just completed a 22-0 run in the Tri-Rivers Conference.
Monday's Class 2A regional first round
All games, 7 p.m.
Aplington-Parkersburg (3-15) at Dike-New Hartford (7-19)
South Winneshiek (13-13) at Hudson (14-17)
Mediapolis (0-25) at Danville (8-18)
South Hardin (4-22) at Grundy Center (11-12)
Clayton Ridge (8-20) at Maquoketa Valley (11-24)
Tipton (5-19) at North Cedar (4-21)
Monday's Class 1A regional first round
7 p.m. unless noted
Tripoli (2-16) at Gladbrook-Reinbeck (1-18)
Turkey Valley (12-20) at Don Bosco (17-13), 5:30 p.m.
West Central (11-17) at BGM (15-8)
Dunkerton (5-14) at North Tama (7-12)
Garwin GMG (4-19) at North Butler (18-10)
Postville (0-15) at Elkader Central (3-29)
Starmont (13-13) at Central City (30-10)
East Buchanan (9-23) at Edgewood-Colesburg (12-20)
Easton Valley (4-20) at Bellevue Marquette (10-19)
Midland (1-25) at Springville (13-20)
Keota (0-16) at Tri-County (2-18)
English Valleys (7-13) at New London (16-9)
HLV (5-13) at Montezuma (12-10)
Iowa Valley (4-16) at Winfield-Mount Union (10-7)
Iowa Mennonite (3-15) at Lone Tree (10-10)
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