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Sports Calendar: July 8 plus Regional Softball Quarterfinals

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There's no rest for the weary at this point of the summer sports season. It all continues on with plenty more action for Wednesday.

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Before starting the regional softball preview, there are a few baseball games on the calendar for Wednesday.

The Red Oak baseball team makes up a JV/varsity doubleheader when they host Creston. JV will be playing first at 5:30 p.m.

The Stanton baseball team will also be home when they host Adair-Casey in a JV/varsity doubleheader that starts at 5 p.m.

Additionally, Essex is also scheduled to take on Griswold Wednesday in baseball.

Regional Softball Preview

It's the start of the quarterfinals in Classes 1A, 2A and 3A as area teams try to keep their season alive.

The preview starts with Region 8 of Class 3A as the Red Oak Tigers play their first postseason game when they travel south on IA-48 to play Shenandoah.

It will be the fourth time that Red Oak has played Shenandoah this season. The Fillies have won the three prior meetings, including two by shutout.

Red Oak enters the softball postseason looking for its first win since 2012 when they knocked off the Fillies. The Tigers will need to get their bats going, if they want to keep extend their season.

Red Oak's top three hitters this season have been Hailey Fada (.284 average), Kamryn Buntrock (.253) and Shelbie Perez (.250). 

Red Oak will likely need to get hits off of Jordan Major, who has all three wins over Red Oak this season. In 19 innings against the Tigers, Major has allowed three runs (all unearned) on 12 hits, while striking out 24 and only allowing five walks.

The other quarterfinal games feature Atlantic vs. Clarinda, Kuemper Catholic vs. East Sac County and Greene County versus Pocahontas Area. The winner of Red Oak/Shenandoah will play the winner of Atlantic/Clarinda Friday night in Atlantic.

All the quarterfinal games in 3A Region 8 are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Class 2A

The Southwest Valley Timberwolves find themselves in the quarterfinals of Class 2A Region 8 after their 12-2 win over Audubon in five innings Tuesday night.

They'll now focus on playing Nodaway Valley as the game takes place in Greenfield at 7 p.m. It's the third time these two teams will meet this season.

Southwest Valley won the first time, June 9, by a 4-3 score. Nodaway Valley took the second game June 30 when they won 6-1.

The Timberwolves will try to get the bats going once again. Kim Hults had a big game against Audubon Tuesday night when she went 4-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs.

The other quarterfinal games in 2A-8 feature IKM-Manning versus AHSTW, Missouri Valley vs. Tri-Center and Treynor vs. St. Albert. The winner of Southwest Valley/Nodaway Valley plays the winner of IKM-Manning/AHSTW Friday night in Irwin.

Class 1A

Three area teams are still alive in Class 1A Region 7. However, two of those teams will be facing off in one of the quarterfinals.

Essex and Stanton will face off in one quarterfinal, starting at 7 p.m. in Sidney. Both teams had different ways of reaching the quarterfinals.

The Trojanettes had to overcome a 12-run deficit Monday night against East Mills to win in walk-off fashion, 15-14. The Viqueens had a little bit easier of an outcome when they defeated Sidney 9-2 on Monday night.

Essex has the edge in the season series, winning both games June 22.

The Trojanettes have been solid at hitting this season. They're second in Class 1A in on-base percentage (.480) and fifth in slugging percentage (.526).

It's hard to pick one player for Essex to watch on offense because eight of the nine regular starters are batting over .300 (and the ninth is batting .297).

If one player stands out this season, it's outfielder Bethany Johnson, who has a .506 batting average and a 1.223 OPS (On-Base plus Slugging). Only Sara Skalberg, who has a .828 slugging percentage, has a higher OPS with 1.421.

Stanton's offense will need to step up, especially if the Essex bats get hot. Stanton's top hitters are Lauren Stephens (.470 OBP) and Chelsea Weis (.462 slugging percentage).

The winner of the Essex/Stanton game will play the winner of Logan-Magnolia/Fremont-Mills at 7 p.m. Friday in Logan.

The other area team playing will be Griswold as they hit the road to play Glidden-Ralston. The game starts at 5:30 p.m.

Griswold reached the quarterfinals thanks to a 3-1 win Tuesday night at home versus CAM. Glidden-Ralston had a first round bye. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

Both teams are solid offensively. However, Glidden-Ralston has the edge as they're batting .354 as a team this season, compared to Griswold's .293.

Both teams have solid pitchers. Griswold has Marlia Rossell, who tossed a no-hitter and struck out eight in the 3-1 win over CAM Tuesday night. Rossell has a 2.06 ERA, a 16-11 record and struck out 163 in 186 2/3 innings pitched this season.

Glidden-Ralston has Lauren Mahlberg to turn to as their pitcher. The junior (16-3) has been dominant with her 0.81 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched this season.

The winner of Griswold/Glidden-Ralston will play the winner of Exira-EHK/Lenox Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Glidden.