Bat and ball teams earn playoff bids
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Liberty shortstop Jakson Bucher leads the top-seeded Hawks into the Div. IV Central Section playoffs. They open against No. 16 seeded Dinuba on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
The good news was the Liberty Hawks softball and baseball team earned the top two seeds in the Central Section playoffs. The bad news is they were both moved up in divisions in the new Central Section seeding format.
The Liberty Hawks baseball team, who finished second in the North Sequoia League and gave undefeated Kerman one of their toughest tests this season, earned the top seed in Div. IV. They host No. 16 Dinuba in the first round Tuesday.
With a win, the Hawks will host either No. 8 Arvin or No. 9 Atascadero on Thursday. Both games are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The Hawks were based in Div. V this season. Based on computer rankings, the Hawks were moved up in Div. IV. Teams could only move up or down one division from their base.
The Hawks were the No. 10 seed in Div. IV last year and won their first round game against Dos Palos before losing to eventual champion, Bakersfield Christian.
Meanwhile, the Hawks’ softball team, who went undefeated in the North Sequoia league, earned the No. 2 seed in the Div. II playoffs.
However, the Hawks were based in Div. III after advancing to the Central Section championship game last year and were moved up a division.
Liberty hosts No. 15 Mission Oak-Tulare in the first round Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. With a win, the Hawks will host either No. 7 Bullard-Fresno or No. 10 Clovis West in the quarterfinals.
The Madera South Stallions’ baseball team earned the top seed in the Div. IV playoffs last year and lost in the first round. This year, the Stallions earned the No. 5 seed and host No. 12 Immanuel-Reedley on Wednesday at Eddie Chapa Field at 4:30 p.m.
A win sends the Stallions to No. 4 Hanford West or they get to host No. 13 Golden West-Visalia in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The Madera Coyotes softball team, fresh off a second straight County/Metro Athletic Conference undefeated season, earned the No. 5 seed in Div. II. They will host No. 12 Independence on Wednesday at Zimmerman Field at 4:30 p.m.
A win sends the Coyotes to Santa Maria to face No. 4 St. Joseph’s or they get to host No. 13 El Diamante-Visalia on Friday in the quarterfinals.