LINCOLN — Every top seed in Class A and Class C advanced Wednesday during the first day of district softball.
Five of the seven No. 1 seeds in Class A and all six in Class C need to win two games Thursday to advance to the state tournament, which begins Oct. 16.
Two of the seven Class A districts have four teams while the other five have five teams. That means Lincoln North Star in A-6 and Lincoln Southwest in A-7 need one victory to qualify for state.
The Navigators defeated Omaha South 12-0 before topping Millard West 8-4 while Southwest beat Lincoln Northeast 15-7 before routing Papio South 12-3.
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Both districts will have elimination games at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Bair Softball Complex — Fremont and Millard West in A-6 and North Platte against Papio South in A-7 — with championships at 3 p.m.
Should North Star or Southwest lose the 3 p.m. game, a second game would be played to determine the district champion. The weather forecast in Lincoln is favorable for getting those games in. The forecast for Omaha and other areas isn’t as nice.
Whenever the A and C districts conclude, the seeds and first-round state pairings for all three classes won’t be known until Saturday afternoon at the earliest.
That’s because all eight Class B district finals were moved from Friday to Saturday due to the cold forecast for Friday.
It’s also possible some of the A and C districts get pushed back because of weather. The weather was ideal Wednesday, cool but not too cold, and precipitation didn’t hinder the action.
North Star senior Hanna Roth had two home runs in the Gators’ (27-9) victory over Millard West.
“Honestly, I don’t even remember hitting it,” Roth said. “We had runners on base, and I wanted to get them in and put us ahead.”
Both Roth and North Star coach Brittany Hansen said the most important part was the team going 2-0. That was especially important after North Star made it to state in 2018 via the wild card.
Hansen also said it was nice to see Roth have some success after a recent slump.
“Our goal coming into today was to get two wins to only have to hopefully play one game tomorrow,” Hansen said. “She has a lot of pop, and there was that lull where she was struggling at the plate. Those at-bats were big for her confidence.”
Southwest stumbled out of the gate in the opener after Northeast hit a grand slam to take an early lead. But Southwest responded with 11 runs in the fifth inning to secure the win and advance to take on Papio South, which upset North Platte 9-5.
Against the Titans, Nebraska commit Abbie Squier had a home run and junior Emma Hain had a grand slam and six RBIs. Coach Mark Watt was pleased with the way his Silver Hawks bounced back from the early deficit.
“They were ready to play but we didn’t let that bother us and kept our composure,” Watt said. “We work hard on our hitting, and with any team, it’s contagious. The girls swung at good pitches for the most part.”
Watt also was happy with the way Southwest bounced back from an upset loss Friday to Kearney in the championship game of the Heartland Athletic Conference tournament in Grand Island.
“We talked about how practice carries over to games,” Watt said. “Practices this week were short and had high intensity. They were spirited.”