Jeff Linder, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa –
Ready or not — and like it or not — here it comes.
The world of pentaclassed girls’ athletics in Iowa officially makes its debut Monday, when the Class 1A softball regional tournament begins.
Thus begins a nine-day race for Fort Dodge, host site of the state softball tournament July 16-20 at the Rogers Sports Complex. Regionals begin Tuesday in classes 2A and 3A, Thursday in 4A and 5A.
Regional finals are July 9 in 1A, 2A and 3A, July 10 in 4A and 5A.
The 1A field consists of 102 teams, 76 of which open play Monday. The other 26 have first-round byes.
Fifth-ranked Lisbon is the area’s best hope among the small schools. The Lions earned a share of the Big East championship Thursday by splitting a double-header with Northeast, the other co-champ.
Lions Coach Bob Bunting earned his 1,000th career win June 7.
The Lions receive a first-round bye and will face Iowa Mennonite or Lone Tree in a quarterfinal Thursday. Lisbon is one of two ranked teams in Region 3. The other is No. 13 Sigourney, which would face the Lions in a regional final at Iowa City West if both advance that far.
Sigourney will host the winner of Monday’s Keota-WACO game on Thursday.
CLASS 1A REGIONAL FIRST ROUND
(Monday, 7 p.m. unless noted)
Dunkerton at Janesville (Clarksville, bye)
Central City at East Buchanan
Midland at Springville
Lansing Kee at West Central (Elkader Central, bye)
Rockford at Riceville (Mason City Newman, bye)
Keota at WACO (Sigourney, bye)
Fort Madison Holy Trinity vs. New London, at Farmington, 5:30 p.m.
Winfield-Mount Union at Harmony, 7:30 p.m.
Bellevue Marquette at Calamus-Wheatland (Preston, bye)
Iowa Mennonite at Lone Tree (Lisbon, bye)
Grandview Park Baptist at BGM (Lynnville-Sully, bye)
Montezuma at English Valleys
HLV at Tri-County
Garwin GMG at Belle Plaine (Colo-Nesco, bye)
Meskwaki Settlement at North Tama (Don Bosco, bye)