Hatboro-Horsham softball coach Kelly Crier won't forget her team's run to the PIAA Class AAAA championship last season. The Hatters lost in the District 1 finals to Owen J. Roberts but regrouped in the state playoffs by easily beating District 12 champ Central in the opening round. Two games later, they avenged the loss to the Wildcats and went on to beat Greater Latrobe for the state title.
After losing, 4-2, to Spring-Ford in this season's district championship, Central Bucks South coach Jennifer Robinson says it would be nice to have a similar memory. She reminded her team of the Hatters' scenario at practice Friday.
Interestingly, the Titans are playing Central, the District 12 runner-up, in tomorrow's opening round of the state playoffs.
"I also reminded them that we're not Hatboro-Horsham, but we do play in a very competitive league [Suburban One], and a lot of the recent state champions have come from our league," Robinson said. "The game with Spring-Ford could have gone either way. With a lead in the sixth inning, it's usually smooth sailing for us. I told them that we had that game with Spring-Ford. Now we have another with Central."
The Titans (20-2), ranked No. 2 by The Inquirer, will be favorites over the Lancers (11-3). Central lost to St. Hubert, 14-0, in the district championship game. Central Bucks East South and Central will meet at 5 p.m. at Spring-Ford.
That game is one of 11 games on opening day that involve area teams.
By winning the District 1 AAAA crown, Spring-Ford (20-2) gets to travel down Route 422 for a 3 p.m. meeting with Chambersburg, the third seed from District 3, at Upper Merion's Walker Park.
Bound to draw the attention of area softball fans is the 3 p.m, matchup between District 12 champ St. Hubert (19-3) and District 1 third-place finisher Pennsbury (18-3) at La Salle University. It should be a duel between two junior pitchers, the Bambies' Melissa Robinson and the Falcons' Kait Schilling. Robinson pitched a no-hitter in the win over Central.
Owen J. Roberts (19-3), which finished fourth in District 1, is scheduled to open against District 3's Gov. Mifflin, which finished first at Lyons Field in Fleetwood. The Wildcats will rely on pitching ace Kelly Schymanski and a solid offense led by catcher Jen Beaver.
Nazareth Academy (21-1), the District 1 Class AAA champ, will play at 1 p.m. Monday against Kennard-Dale in the first part of a doubleheader at Upper Merion's Walker Park. Kennard-Dale is the third-place team from District 3. West Chester East, which erased a four-run deficit against Nazareth before eventually bowing, 7-6, in the District 1 final, travels to Shippensburg University to play Greencastle Antrim.
Two District 12 teams are also in action in Class AAA. CAPA, second in District 12, faces District 11 champ Bethlehem Catholic at 4 p.m. at Patriots Park in Allentown. District 12's top team, Archbishop Wood (15-3), plays Twin Valley at 5 p.m. at La Salle University. Twin Valley is the second-place team from District 3.
One Class AA game pits St. Pius of District 1 against Kennedy-Kenrick of District 12 at 3 p.m. at Spring-Ford. (The two schools will become part of the new Pope John Paul II beginning with the 2010-11 school year.)
Bristol, District 1's lone Class A representative, will travel to Blue Mountain to take on Williams Valley of District 11 at 2 p.m.