Published Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 12:11 am
SOFTBALL
Beideck: Class B flexes muscle in final ratings

The close scores and lack of upsets through the Class B state softball tournament had a big impact on the final ratings for the 2013 season.

There are still five Class A and five Class B teams sprinkled in the all-class Top 10, but three of the B teams — York, Blair and Norris — made significant jumps, moving ahead of Class A teams.

The top five in the Class B ratings are Nos. 3 through No. 7 behind three-time defending Class A champion Millard South and runner-up Papillion-La Vista.

Any doubts about York after a regular-season schedule that included a dozen games against Class C teams were put to rest — not only by the Dukes’ victories but also by the way they played in the championship game against Omaha Skutt.

York never trailed until the bottom of the seventh, when the SkyHawks scratched out two runs to earn a 2-1 victory and their second state title in school history. It would have been easy for the Dukes to fold after a nine-inning second round setback to Blair.

But instead of settling for a 1-2 record, York bounced back to eliminate Norris and Elkhorn South before gaining a measure of revenge by defeating Blair 9-7 to earn its place in the Class B state title game.

Millard West’s nice run in Hastings through the elimination bracket was the biggest surprise of the entire tournament. The Wildcats overcame some midseason struggles and proved they earned their berth with some of their best play of the season.

after entering the 2012 state tournament as the No. 1 seed and being eliminated in two games, the Wildcats battled back as the No. 8 seed this season and helped erase that memory. They topped Lincoln’s three best teams to get the job done.

After winning two of three in district play over Lincoln North Star to qualify for state, the Wildcats eliminated Lincoln Southwest and Lincoln Southeast before ending Grand Island’s season.

It was no surprise that Wahoo went 4-0 to win another Class C state title. many players on that team had been a part of state title squads in 2010 and 2011.

What kept the Warriors from being No. 1 heading into the tournament was two district defeats at the hands of crosstown rival Wahoo Neumann. But none of the current Cavaliers had been to state — the school’s previous appearance had been in 2007.

Wahoo’s experience with that intense atmosphere in Hastings helped the Warriors become the first Class C school to win three state championships. If their title game opponent — Wayne — had won twice on Friday, the Blue Devils would have been the first three-time C champs.

Contact the writer: Steve Beideck

stevebeideck63@gmail.com    |   402-618-4113    |  

Steve is a correspondent for The Omaha World-Herald and covers the Omaha Lancers and high school sports.

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