Two upsets Thursday made the Class A district softball tournaments a bit more intriguing for Friday’s finals.
Gabbie Jonas had a two-run home run and drove in all three runs in Omaha Marian’s 3-2 victory over Papillion-La Vista South at Halleck Park in the winner’s bracket of the District A-7 tournament.
Papio South left two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, and now will have to defeat Marian twice Friday to earn the A-7 automatic berth to the Oct. 16-18 Class A state tournament at the Smith Softball Complex in Hastings.
After edging Columbus 3-1 in the first round, Millard West routed No. 5 overall seed Lincoln North Star 12-4 in the A-5 tournament at Lincoln’s Doris Bair Softball Complex.
All of the other top seeds in Class A won their first two games, but few were blowouts. No. 1-ranked Papillion-La Vista defeated Bellevue West 4-1 after the 13-17 Thunderbirds edged Omaha Central 3-2 in the opening round.
Two-time defending state champion Millard South opened the A-2 tournament with a 14-0 victory over Omaha Bryan before earning a 5-3 victory over 12-16 Millard North.
Lincoln Southeast and Lincoln Southwest took different paths to victories in their tournaments at the Bair Complex. The Knights didn’t allow a run in victories over Omaha North (12-0) and Lincoln East (7-0).
Southwest had a tougher time in the second round after opening with a 12-0 whitewashing of Omaha South. The Silver Hawks survived a slugfest to edge Omaha Westside 13-11. Westside will have to defeat Fremont and then Southwest twice to with the A-4 tournament.
Grand Island is one win away from a repeat trip to state after sending Omaha Benson to the elimination bracket with a 9-1 victory over the Bunnies.
Class B also had few surprises through the first day of tournament play. Norris, Omaha Skutt, Blair, York, Grand Island Northwest and North Platte all remain undefeated.
Skutt defeated Elkhorn South 5-0 in District B-2. The SkyHawks are the No. 2 seed but are ranked first by The World-Herald just ahead of the top-seeded Storm.
It appears that both teams will make it to state, with the district runner-up going as a wild card. The only other team still alive in B-2 is 24-12 Ralston, which will play Elkhorn South at 10 a.m. Friday in an elimination game. The winner will need to defeat Skutt twice to win the district.
In Class C, the C-2 district winner’s bracket game will feature No. 1-ranked Wahoo Neumann against No. 2 Wahoo. Rated teams also are paired against each other in C-3 (Wayne and West Point GACC) and C-4 (Raymond Central and Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan).