When the 2A state softball tournament gets under way Thursday, only one thing is certain — any team in the playoffs can win the title.
With last year's state champion — Manti — now playing in 3A, it would seem that the second-place squad, San Juan, would be the favorite. And while the experienced Broncos are ranked No. 1, they will be challenged from the opening round of play Thursday at the Spanish Fork Softball Complex.
The Broncos take on Milford, a sixth seed, in the first round and will face either Duchesne or Parowan in the second round at 6 p.m.
The Broncos return much of last year's team including, Abby Bayles, Faleicia Flavel, Briona Laws, Brooke Lyman, Kelsey Mere and Simone Shumway. San Juan played a tough non-region schedule and faced teams like Alta (which they beat) and Woods Cross (which they lost to by one run).
Enterprise is ranked third, behind Millard, a team that gave the Wolves their only region loss and is seeded No. 2 from Region 13. The Eagles face Rowland Hall in the first round, while the Wolves face fifth seeded Gunnison.
Enterprise is led by pitcher Kelsey Lee, who also has seven doubles on the season. Megan Glove, Janae Humphries, Tracie Nelson, Capri Christensen and Tarah Lee are all major reasons the Wolves spent most of the season in the top spot.
Millard is led by pitcher Shelby Sheriff, as well as Brooke Rhodes, Ashlie Deerden and Camille Blad.
South Summit, the fourth-ranked team, managed to get through region play without a loss. The Wildcats face a tough Kanab squad in the first round of play.
While the team relies mostly on pitcher McKenzie Woolstenhulme, the squad has one of the strongest line-ups in the state. Hadlie Llewelyn, Megan Peterson, Paige Peterson and Sara McNeil are just a few of the team's impressive hitters.
Grand probably has the toughest first round draw of the ranked teams. The Red Devils, ranked fifth and seeded second, will face Altamont in the tournament's first games.
The Red Devils are led by pitcher Shelby Dalton, who is also an impressive hitter. Helping her out are Miranda Gill, Lillian Jones, Molly McElhaney and Gabby Sanchez.
South Sevier, the only team in region 15 to beat San Juan will play North Summit, a perennially strong program. That game at 2 p.m. should be one of the best first-round contests on Thursday.
The winners and losers play a second round of games later in the day. The losers play at 4 p.m., while the winners square off in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m.
The championship game is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
2A state softball
Monticello vs. Beaver, noon
Kanab vs. S. Summit, 2 p.m.
Rowland Hall vs. Millard, noon
Altamont vs. Grand, 2 p.m.
Parowan vs. Duchesne, noon
Milford vs. San Juan, 2 p.m.
Gunnison vs. Enterprise, noon
S. Sevier vs. N. Summit, 2 p.m.
*Losers play again at 4 p.m., while winners play again at 6 p.m.