MANSFIELD — The journey to Akron’s Firestone Stadium and the state softball tournament begins this week.
Area teams will hit the diamonds for sectional play beginning Monday with Division IV play.
No. 10 seed Mansfield Christian visits No. 8 Norwalk St. Paul, while No. 9 Wynford is at No. 7 Crestline. No. 11 Buckeye Central is at South Central and No. 12 St. Peter’s is at No. 5 Seneca East.
Plymouth earned the No. 2 seed and will host Buckeye Central or South Central at 5 p.m. Thursday. No. 3 seed Lucas will host either St. Peter’s or Seneca East at 5 p.m. Wednesday for the sectional title.
Also in Division IV, defending state champ Hillsdale earned the No. 2 seed at the Copley district and will host either Lake Center Christian or Elyria Open Door at 5 p.m. Wednesday. No. 5 seed Mapleton visits No. 4 Cuyahoga Heights at 5 p.m. Thursday.
The area’s lone Division I team, Ashland, earned the No. 8 seed in the Bowling Green district and will host No. 10 Toledo Start at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Defending district champ Madison will have its hands full in the rugged Edison district. The Rams earned the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye and will host either Mansfield Senior or Norwalk at 5 p.m. Friday. The 11th-seeded Tygers and No. 10 Truckers meet at Norwalk at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 9 Lexington visits No. 8 Shelby at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The winner will play at No. 1 seed Ontario at 5 p.m. Friday for the sectional title.
Crestview earned the No. 1 seed in the Division III Lexington district field and awaits the winner of Tuesday’s game between No. 6 Bucyrus and No. 9 Fostoria. The Cougars will host the winner of Tuesday’s game at 5 p.m. Friday.
No. 8 seed Colonel Crawford visits No. 7 Huron at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The winner will play at No. 2 Galion at 5 p.m. Friday. No. 4 Clear Fork will host a sectional championship game at 5 p.m. Friday. The Colts will play either No. 5 Edison or No. 10 New London.