Apparently I embarrassed myself last week with my picks.
I picked against the Warsaw baseball team in its sectional semifinal game. The Tigers proved me wrong by beating Northridge before ultimately falling short of Concord in the sectional championship.
Earlier in the week I incorrectly picked Fairfield to defend its home turf and knock the Wawasee softball team out of the sectional. Again, I was wrong. Wawasee not only beat Fairfield, but trounced Lakeland in the sectional championship game and nearly won the regional this past Tuesday night.
Yes, I was wrong with both picks. I embarrassed myself by choosing against two of Kosciusko’s most beloved schools, I know. But surely the members of these programs knew that I was innocent and that to err is human, right?
Oh no, I was reminded of my mistakes. Warsaw head coach Mike Hepler made sure to give me a hard time about picking against his boys. Thankfully, he was the only one from the team that felt an obligation to remind me of my wrongdoing. The Wawasee softball players, on the other hand, were not quite as kind.
Immediately after Wawasee proved its worth and defeated Fairfield, my Twitter feed blew up with tweets from the excited players. These seemingly sweet young ladies were vicious and gave me no slack for picking against them.
Warrior catcher Paige Hlutke politely said, “No offense but I would just like to say HA!”
Then Alli Ousley, the Warriors stud shortstop, remarked “Just to prove you wrong. Better pick wisely next time!”
Those two were bad enough but then the lone Warrior senior, Courtney Crabtree, delivered a knockout blow and made sure I was informed that I was an “idiot” following her team’s big win.
There I was, sitting at home trying to do a writeup on a baseball sectional game, getting verbally abused by a bunch of high school softball players. It was every reporter’s worst nightmare (I assume).
So, let me please say that I WOULD issue an apology to both Mike Hepler and the Warsaw Tiger baseball team as well as the entire Wawasee softball team, but I cannot. The reason being that clearly my expert analysis was what motivated both teams to prove me wrong and advance in their respective tournaments.
Yes, instead of a heartfelt apology, I will instead issue a very prideful, “You’re welcome!”
But, seriously, knowing that coaches and players alike check out these picks and can then give me a hard time after a game is what makes this so much fun. I was sorry to see both teams ultimately have their postseason runs end but after the fun feedback, I am excited for what the next spring season can bring.
Congratulations to the Wawasee softball team on having its best season in school history. The ladies won 20 games, a school record, and hosted the regional for the first time in school history. Over 600 people attended the regional game against Leo, it was a great crowd and a fun game.
The biggest congratulations, however, go to the Triton softball team which won the school’s first regional title and will play this weekend at the Clinton Prairie Semi-State Tournament.
Finally, good luck to the members of the Warsaw, Whitko and Wawasee boys and girls track teams that will be competing at the IHSAA State Finals this weekend in Bloomington!
Last Week: 7-4
Clinton Prairie Softball Semi-State 6/7
Carroll (21-9) v. Tri-Central (7-9), 11 a.m.
The Scoop: The first game of the semi-state will be played between two schools that I was not even aware were in the northern part of the state. I can’t imagine Tri-Central is actually 7-9, but that is what the IHSAA website gave me, so I am rolling with it. The winner here will take on Triton or North Miami and I would be shocked if either of these two teams were able to advance to the State Finals. Both teams were not overly impressive in their sectional or regional wins so I don’t have much to go on here.
The Pick: Carroll 2, Tri-Central 1.
Triton (23-6) v. North Miami (28-4), 1 p.m.
The Scoop: I love me some Blue Thunder softball, but I don’t know if I love it enough to make the pick here. Triton comes in ranked No. 10 in class 1A. North Miami enters as the No. 1 team in the class and has played like it all season. You can never count Triton out of a game with Mallorie Jennings in the circle, but North Miami has done some work so far this postseason.
The Warriors have outscored opponents 53-3 in just four games. North Miami means business. I am giving the same message to Triton that I gave to the Wawasee softball team last week, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Prove you belong. I hope I will have some Triton players calling me an idiot after this one.
The Pick: North Miami 6, Triton 2.
IHSAA Golf Sectional, 6/6
Rozella Ford Golf Sectional, 8 a.m.
The Scoop: All six of our local teams will be present for the sectional this season and much like the Northern Lakes Conference Championships, the field is pretty wide open. Seven of the 13 teams present look to have the best chance of winning, or at least advancing on Friday. Warsaw, Plymouth, Columbia City, Huntington North, Culver Academies, Triton and Wawasee should be the seven teams with the best chance of making it out. Only the top three teams will advance to the Warsaw Regional.
Triton has perhaps the best chance as Rozella is the home course for the Trojans. Warsaw will also have a nice advantage seeing as Rozella sits mere feet away from the WCHS campus. Culver Academies has two premier golfers as does Columbia City, so both of those teams will be in the hunt. Plymouth and Wawasee have both had up and down seasons but have shown an ability to play at a high caliber at times. I will not shoot myself in the foot by picking the three teams to get out, but I will take a stab at who will it all.
The Pick: Culver Academies, 302.
Baseball Regional, 6/7
Lake Central (21-10) v. Concord (15-15), LaPorte Regional, 10:30 a.m.
The Scoop: Concord beat out Warsaw to have a chance at winning in the regional. Unfortunately Lake Central is waiting for the Minutemen. Both teams play in tough conferences with decent out of conference schedules. I have obviously not seen Lake Central compete this season but I do know that Concord has had trouble finding its identity at times, hence the .500 record. This is a big stage and I don’t know if Concord has what it takes to make it out alive.
The Pick: Lake Central 8, Concord 4.
NorthWood (21-5) v. Yorktown (16-12), Bellmont Regional, 11 a.m.
The Scoop: This game features two teams that have experience in then regional round. Yorktown has been there 12 times, most recently in 2011. NorthWood made it to the regional last year and was also there in 2011. I’ve seen NorthWood play twice in this tournament and the team knows how to score. Whether its come in big chunks or in small doses, the Panthers know how to score and scoring leads to winning. The Miranda’s, Cleveland’s and William Kirkwood are the powerhouses for this team. Throw in production from Hunter Lane and Tanner Farmwald and this team could be poised for a deep tourney run.
The Pick: NorthWood 9, Yorktown 7.
NBA Finals, 6/5
Miami (0-0) v. San Antonio (0-0), Game 1, 9 p.m.
The Scoop: Well, here we are again. Miami versus San Antonio for all the marbles. Let me speak for the majority of the state of Indiana by saying, “GO SPURS!” Seriously, I am so tired of hearing about the Heat. Dear Spurs, please, please, please beat Miami.
San Antonio can play big and Miami cannot compete with that. But, obviously, the Heat have Lebron James and Dwyane Wade so they will be in every game. But San Antonio is nearing the end of an amazing run with some class act guys (of course, I thought this last year, too) and I really think that the Spurs want this more than the Heat. Maybe my opinion will change after game one, but for now I think Miami has all of the pressure on itself to repeat. The Finals layout of 2-2-1-1-1 works a lot better than last year’s 2-3-2 crap and will end up helping out the Spurs at some point. I am very biased with this pick, but San Antonio wins game one.
The Pick: Spurs 101, Miami 95.