NORMAN — Baseball regional action begins on Wednesday, and both Norman teams are anxiously waiting to find out how they’ll begin the playoff run.
The OSSAA is scheduled to release regional pairings at noon on Monday, and both Norman High and Norman North will be on the road. North, which lost the chance to host after losing to Southmoore on Friday, will likely be sent to Yukon, while NHS could possibly be sent to Westmoore.
“You can’t tell what they’re going to do, but that’s where we think we’ll end up,” NHS coach Pete Sangirardi said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Sangirardi said the Tigers will probably enter the regional as a three-seed, while North will likely be a two-seed.
After a tough week in which the Timberwolves lost four straight games, coach Brian Aylor said he’s confident his team can shake off any lingering effects from the week and bounce back for the playoffs.
“It’s never as bad as it seems,” he said. “Hanging our heads does us no good. I expect them to rebound and come back ready for regionals.”
North has a history of success in Yukon. In 2010, the last time the T-Wolves won a regional title, it came in the city.
Injuries mounting at North: The roster keeps getting shorter at North. The T-Wolves, already without Daniel Herron, who is out with a broken hand, lost another player on Friday.
Infielder Kallen Snodgrass hit his hand hard when he stooped to make a play on a ground ball against Southmoore on Friday, and the impact fractured a finger on his throwing hand.
Snodgrass could possibly be available for regionals, but Aylor isn’t optimistic about his chances.
“They said if he can handle the pain he could try to play through it,” he said. “But it’s all stitched up so I would expect him to be out a little while. We’re just trying to regroup and figure out our roster.”
Coaches keep options open: Without knowing the schedule for regionals yet, both coaches were noncommittal over the weekend about who they would start on the mound.
North has employed a steady rotation all season of ace Dakota Shadoan and Brad Kinsey in two-game district series, and will likely do the same for regionals. Relief options this season have included Austin Cranford and Conner Baumann, while Cody Lawson has worked as the T-Wolves’ closer for much of the year.
“We don’t know who we’re going to open with until we see the opponent and how we match up,” Aylor said.
The Tigers don’t have as well-defined of a rotation, and coach Pete Sangirardi is looking at a few choices to open the playoffs. Tyler Berry, Jake Jewell and Austin Stewart are all possibilities to start the first game.
“We have all three of those guys who could pitch,” Sangirardi said. “We’ll have everybody fresh and just go with a gut feeling about who will be the one.”
Krutz hitting his stride: Norman North’s Matt Krutz has always played his best golf in the summer outside of school-sanctioned competition, but that may be changing heading into next week’s regional tournament.
Krutz overcame a big mental hurtle when he posted a 67-68 to win the Mid-State Conference tournament on Monday. It’s a big boost to the senior, who will compete with his team at the regional tournament Monday at Lincoln Park.
“He’s going into regionals with a lot of confidence,” coach Dennis Etter said. “He finally broke par in high school golf, and he felt very good about that. He finally got that monkey off his back.”
Freshman stepping up for North tennis: North coach Jamie Wilson says his team has a nice shot to make it to the state tournament, and freshman Karlee Tate’s progress this season is a big part of that.
Tate, who will play No. 2 singles for the T-Wolves, has made great progress since the season began just a few months ago, Wilson said.
“The way she’s playing now from how she played at the first of the season is incredible,” Wilson said. “She’s not intimidated by anyone anymore, which is nice. As good as she plays, she has a good shot of making state as a freshman, which is a huge accomplishment.”
Tate will get her chance on Monday when NHS and North head to Edmond North for the regional tournament.
Three Moore schools in state softball tournament: The slowpitch softball teams from all three Moore schools made it to Tuesday’s state tournament at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Westmoore (37-2) is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A and is the tournament’s top seed. Moore (33-10) is ranked No. 4 and Southmoore (25-8) is ranked fifth.
Westmoore will meet Tecumseh at 11:15 a.m. on Field 3 while Moore and Southmoore will battle in a cross-city duel at 11:15 on Field 4. The winner of those two games will meet at 3:15 p.m. on Field 3 for the semifinals. The title game is at 6:15 p.m. on Field 1.
Two Norman golfers advance to state: Norman High’s Faith Walkley and Norman North’s Bailey Belcoff will both compete in the Class 6A state tournament beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Muskogee Country Club.
T-Wolves move up in national rankings: The Norman North boys soccer squad, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A, has moved into the top five in a national ranking.
The ESPN Powerade FAB50 ranks the nation’s 50 top high school teams, and puts the Timberwolves at No. 5. The T-Wolves moved up from No. 18 to No. 6 after defeating top-ranked Irmo (S.C.) two weeks ago.
North will host Edmond Memorial at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the playoffs.