April 26 may be the official start of the softball and baseball playoffs but a few teams are feeling the heat right now. Each game this week feels like a mini playoff.
Starting with 6A softball, No. 4 Tucson will face No. 3 Cibola on Monday, Apr. 24 for the Southern Region title. No. 8 Sunnyside is in as is No. 18 Rincon/University.
No. 1 Cienega won the automatic berth from the 5A Southern Region thanks to an assist from No. 13 Mountain View Marana. The Mountain Lions beat No. 2 Sahuaro Tuesday night. No. 5 Ironwood Ridge is playing to stay away from the Play-In Tournament.
No. 10 Desert View and No. 11 Marana are still playing for the 5A Sonoran Region championship.
No. 1 Canyon del Oro beat No. 7 Salpointe on Tuesday night to clinch the 4A Kino Region.
No. 10 Pueblo and No. 15 Douglas are playing for the 4A Gila Region title while No. 17 Rio Rico is fighting for a playoff spot.
No. 12 Pusch Ridge and No. 13 Sabino are playing in an important 3A South Region game on Thursday night. No. 9 Empire and No. 16 Sahuarita still have a shot an automatic berth. No. 25 Tanque Verde has an outside chance.
No. 2 Benson is in from the 2A East Region while No. 14 Willcox is on the edge.
No. 5 San Manuel has control of the 2A South Region but the Miners have yet to clinch.
No. 4 Santa Cruz is leading the 2A Metro South Region.
No. 6 St. David, No. 8 Academy of Tucson and No. 9 Valley Union are still in line for the 1A South Region title.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com