Round Two of the Utah State 3A Softball Tournament begins Thursday. The eight teams that won in the first round, including Region 9’s Cedar and Desert Hills, will play at 1 p.m. The losers of those four games will move to the one-loss bracket and play at 3:15 p.m. The survivors of those games will advance and play Friday along with the winners of the first four games. Here are Thursday’s matchups and STGNews.com picks:
RIDGELINE vs. JUAB
Overall Record: 20-8
First Round: Advanced by beating Stansbury 2-1
Current Ranking: 10th
Region Finish: #2 in Region 11
Overall Record: 20-3-1
First Round: Advanced by beating Hurricane 10-0
Current Ranking: 1st
Region Finish: 1st in Region 12
These teams have not met this season. While both teams have won 20 games, the Lady Wasps have done it against much better competition. Juab ace Tylei Williams pitched a perfect game in the first round. I expect Juab to advance easily. Loser will face Union, which may end the tournament for Ridgeline. Winner will likely face Cedar.
STGNEWS PICK: Juab
CEDAR CITY vs. TOOELE
Overall Record: 17-7-1
First Round: Advanced by beating Carbon 7-1
Current Ranking: 5th
Region Finish: 1st in Region 9
Overall Record: 12-10
First Round: Advanced by beating Logan 13-0
Current Ranking: 7th
Region Finish: 2nd in Region 10
These teams have not met this season. Cedar is the favorite but not decidedly. Tooele has less wins but has a much higher SOS than the Lady Reds. Denim Henkel and Dream Weaver are one-two in batting average in 3A. And they have 4-5 others that are not far behind offensively. Loser faces Canyon View. If Cedar wins they will likely have rematch against Juab. The Lady Wasps beat Cedar earlier 11-4 in early April.
STGNEWS PICK: Cedar
DESERT HILLS vs. GRANTSVILLE
Overall Record: 24-3-1
First Round: Advanced by beating Canyon View 9-2
Current Ranking: 4th
Region Finish: 2nd in Region 9
Overall Record: 21-5
First Round: Advanced by beating Juan Diego 12-2
Current Ranking: 3rd
Region Finish: 1st in Region 10
These teams have not met this season. This game is the most difficult to predict. They are the closest in ranking and while Desert Hills has the better record, Grantsville’s SOS is much higher. That being said, the Thunder have only lost to two teams this season, twice to Cedar and once to 2A No. 1-ranked Enterprise. And two of those games were by one run. My prediction is the same as the first round. If the Thunder bats show up, Desert Hills wins. Loser plays Carbon. Winner will likely play Bear River.
STGNEWS PICK: Grantsville
BEAR RIVER v. NORTH SANPETE
Overall Record: 21-4
First Round: Advanced by beating Union 7-0
Current Ranking: 2nd
Region Finish: 1st in Region 11
Overall Record 13-13
First Round: Advanced by beating Snow Canyon 13-11
Current Ranking: 12th
Region Finish: 2nd in Region 12
These teams have not met this season. While Bear River had the most difficult matchup in the first round (Union), it’s reward is the easiest matchup in the second round. Bear River nearly matches Cedar in offensive production. The Lady Bears should not have any problem dispatching North Sanpete. Loser will play Stansbury. Winner will play winner of Grantsville/Desert Hills.
STGNEWS PICK: Bear River
Check back here during the tournament for results and picks.
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