In the brackets shown below, you will find my picks for the Section 1 Tournament. I’ve included what I consider to be the main storylines in each of the classes. Debbie’s predictions will be posted shortly also.
When the Carmel Rams went on a tear earlier this season by downing their Dutchess-county foes, Kerri O’Connor’s squad cemented itself as a favorite for the Class AA crown.
Ketcham, Arlington , White Plains, CS and New Rochelle are all strong opponents but I don’t see any of the squads overcoming Carmel. The Huguenots downed Carmel recently and White Plains has shown pitching brilliance but if I had to pick a side in a one game series, my choice is made.
Fox Lane could surprise some teams as well – even though she missed three games due to a hamstring injury, senior catcher Christie Lombardi (55 RBI) has mashed the Foxes to doubled digit victories.
When the time came to write my softball preview season for the year, I chose to profile Brewster (and Class A more broadly) for good reason. The class is flat out tremendous.
I don’t think that we will see the same magic that carried No. 7 Brewster and No. 8 Beacon back in the class finals this year (as far as having low seeds advance far) but I do believe there are five teams that could be in play for a title.
In a nutshell - Pearl River, Brewster and Tappan Zee are all ultra talented teams that have demonstrated a high pedigree of play. I believe the three of them have a chance to take home the title but I don’t see them sealing the deal.
After taking in many games this year, I still consider them to be a slightly beneath Eastchester and Ursuline in terms of sheer firepower and ability to close the big game.
If I’m going to make errors in my predictions – and it’s probable that I will in at least several places – i’m going to err on the side of star power, meaning the combined 5 D1 players that Eastchester and Ursuline have between them.
Lourdes has maintained a stranglehold near the top of the NYS Class B rankings for much of the season and I expect the Warriors to advance far in this tournament – even though they’ll face a tall task in attempting to solve Rye Neck’s Diana King in their first game.
Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley will be a superb 4/5 contest in the quarterfinals and most area softball fans probably didn’t have Westlake pinned for a semifinals berth when the season started although the squad burst onto the scene with a win against Rye Neck.
After seeing Valhalla edge Pearl River in a tight game earlier this year, I like the Vikings makeup very much and expect them to win the Section 1 crown and begin the road back to the state final four, where their season ended last year.
Class C: After seeing Tuckahoe – who finished 18-0 this season – play in a rout of Yonkers Montessori, i’m confident that the Tigers will wrap up Class C handily. Haldane is the biggest challenge to the Tigers but the Blue Devils have had a significantly weaker season this year than last, when they topped Tuckahoe in the Section 1 final.
Tuckahoe has not claimed a Section 1 crown since coach Amy Delsavio was a player in 2001. The Tigers have also never captured a state title.
- Keep your eye on eighth-grade pitcher Cassie McGrath, who was electric this season. Her dominant showings in the circle coupled with the offensive power of Lexi Kargbo and Casey Stevko will make Tuckahoe a feared opponent come regional play.
The downside of the smaller class (I witnessed the same thing in Class C basketball) is that there are often very few surprises.