The high school postseason is just around the corner, but the roads to the district tournament were paved Sunday afternoon as the 2016 OHSAA Southeast District softball tournaments were officially released in all four divisions.
A half-dozen Ohio Valley Publishing schools — Gallia Academy, Meigs, River Valley, Southern, South Gallia and Eastern — now know where their opening games will be and who they will be facing in their respective sectional matchups.
Four of the six area programs need only one win to get out of sectional play, while Meigs and South Gallia each need two victories to advance to their respective district tournaments.
The Lady Marauders (18-5) earned the top overall seed in the Division II South bracket and awaits the winner of the 8-9 matchup between Athens and Marietta. MHS will host the winner at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in a sectional semifinal contest.
The Meigs-Athens-Marietta winner advances to the D-2 sectional final at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 14, and will host either fourth-seeded Chillicothe or fifth-seeded Waverly.
The Division II district tournaments will be held at Ohio University and begin on Monday, May 16. The district championship games are slated for Wednesday, May 18.
Both Gallia Academy and River Valley open the Division III postseason in sectional finals, but only one program will have the friendly confines of home on its side.
The Blue Angels (9-5) earned a four seed in the East bracket and host fifth-seeded Southeastern at 5 p.m. Friday, May 13, at the Eastman Athletic Complex in Centenary.
The Lady Raiders (8-11), on the other hand, picked up the six seed in the East bracket and travels to third-seeded Zane Trace for a 5 p.m. matchup on Friday, May 13.
The Division III district tournaments will be held at Unioto High School and run continuously from Tuesday, May 17 through Saturday, May 20.
Two of the three Division IV programs in the area will open tournament play on the road, with the lone exception coming at Eastern.
The TVC Hocking champion Lady Eagles (17-6) earned a two seed in the D-4 East bracket and awaits the winner of the 7-10 matchup between Waterford and Miller. EHS welcomes the winner to Don Jackson Field at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in a sectional final.
Southern (11-7) also opens tournament play in a sectional final, but the Lady Tornadoes travel to Glouster as a five seed to face fourth-seeded Trimble at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 12.
South Gallia (2-16) earned the 11th seed and will travel to Beaver for a D-4 sectional semifinal contest against Pike Eastern at 5 p.m. Monday, May 9. The winner then travels to third-seeded Belpre for a sectional final game at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 12.
The Division IV district tournaments will be held at Minford High School, with district semifinals being held on Tuesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 19. The district championship games are slated for Saturday, May 21.
Complete pairings for the 2016 OHSAA Southeast District softball tournament are available on the web at seodab.org
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.