Southeastern High School junior Avery Shepherd swings at a pitch during their game against Madison Plains on Monday, April 29. The Trojans won 11-1. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

High School Softball: Southeastern, Shawnee earn No. 1 seeds

Southeastern earned the top seed in the Division IV Dayton sectional, while Shawnee is also the No. 1 seed in the D-II Tecumseh sectional.

Another area team, Mechanicsburg, earned the No. 1 seed in the D-IV Sidney sectional.

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First- and second-round sectional games will be hosted by higher-seeded squads. The tournament shifts to neutral sites beginning in the sectional finals.

The Trojans (18-2) will host ninth-seeded Yellow Springs (5-9) in a D-IV, Dayton 1 first round game at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7. The winner will host No. 11 Twin Valley South in a second round game at 5 p.m. No. 3 Franklin-Monroe, No. 7 Tri-Village and No. 8 Troy Christian are all on the other side of the bracket.

The Trojans fell to Franklin-Monroe 8-6 in the D-IV districts in 2016.

“They’ve played some good teams and beat them,” said Southeastern coach Randy “Tojo” Delaney. “I know they’re very much a capable team, but we’re a different team than we were three years ago when we played.”

The sectional finals are scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at Brookville High School.

Southeastern clinched its first Ohio Heritage Conference South Division title last week with five games remaining in conference play. It hadn’t won a league title since 2003.

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“That’s a long drought,” Delaney said. “The last two to three years we were in it down to the last game”

The Trojans also went 4-2 against the OHC North Division, including victories over Triad and West Liberty-Salem.

“We knew we had a chance to win it, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen with four- to five-games to go in the conference,” Delaney said. “We have to keep growing with our remaining games. We have to finish this week strong like we have all year.”

Mechanicsburg (12-3) and Southeastern could face each other in the D-IV district final game on Saturday, May 18. The Indians beat the Trojans 13-2 in OHC crossover play earlier this season.

Catholic Central is the No. 5 seed in the other D-IV, Dayton 2 bracket. They’ll host sixth-seeded Dayton Christian at 5 p.m. on May 7.

Division II

The Braves (14-6) took a bye and will play the winner of third-seeded Kenton Ridge (13-7) and fifth-seeded Bellefontaine (7-9) at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Shawnee.

“It was nice to get that,” said Shawnee coach Chris Roberts. “It’s only five teams in the sectional, so it’s pretty small. You’re going to have to go through the same Central Buckeye Conference teams every year to get to districts.”

The Cougars will host Bellefontaine at Ed Foulk Field at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 7.

With a win, Kenton Ridge and Shawnee will face off for a third time this season. Each team won on its home field in Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division play.

The Braves have won five of their last seven games, dropping two close games to CBC Kenton Trail Division leader Jonathan Alder.

“We’re playing really good softball right now,” Roberts said. “I feel really good about the team. All the kids are contributing. Our pitching has been solid all year long and our defense has been outstanding. It’s exciting heading towards tournament.”

Second-seeded Graham (12-9) will play fourth-seeded Northwestern (9-11) in a second-round game on Thursday, May 9. The winner will advance to the sectional final against the KR-Bellefontaine-Shawnee winner at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at Tecumseh High School.

Division I

Springfield is No. 7 seed in the D-I Dayton sectional. The Wildcats will face the winner of the second-seeded Springboro (13-5) and No. 17 Wayne in the second round of the Dayton 2 sectional at 5 p.m. on May 8.

The Wildcats (10-9, 5-4) beat Wayne 5-4 on Monday and currently hold a two-game lead over Centerville (8-13, 5-6) in the Greater Western Ohio Conference National East Division with three league games remaining.

No. 19 Tecumseh (2-17) travels to top-seeded Lebanon (13-5) in a D-I, Dayon 1 sectional game at 5 p.m. May 6.

Division III

Greenon (5-12) is the No. 14 seed in the D-III, Dayton 1 sectional. The Knights will host No. 18 Northridge (3-15) at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 6. The winner will travel to top-seeded Ben Logan (18-2) at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 8.

15th-seeded Northeastern (3-15) will travel to sixth-seeded Carlisle (12-10) at 5 p.m. Monday, May 6.

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