Kee’s title defense begins Monday against Montezuma

The Kee softball team (35-2) has earned the top seed in this year’s Class 1A State Tournament field and will begin defense of its Class 1A State Tournament championship won last year Monday, July 17 against eighth-seeded Montezuma (19-12) on Buena Vista University Diamond at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge, beginning at 11 a.m. The winner of that match-up will move on to a Thursday, July 20 semifinals match-up at 7 p.m. against the winner of fourth-seeded Westwood (29-10) and fifth-seeded Colfax-Mingo (25-11). The losing teams in those two first-round match-ups will move to a consolation semifinal Tuesday, July 18 at 9 a.m.

Whichever first-round winning team also wins that Thursday, July 20 semifinals match-up will then move on to the Friday, July 21 Class 1A State Championship game at 2:39 p.m. A semifinal loss Thursday sends the losing team to a Friday, July 21 championship bracket third-place contest at 1:30 p.m. Potential opponents in those final games from the other side of that Class 1A bracket will come from first-round match-ups featuring second-seeded and recent Kee State Tournament rival Akron-Westfield (also at 35-2) vs. seventh-seeded Sigourney (22-11) and third-seeded Clarksville (27-2) vs. sixth-seeded Belle Plaine (23-6).

Returning to the consolation side, a win in the semifinals of that side of the bracket would push that winning team to the consolation finals at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 19 to battle for fifth place, with a semifinal loss meaning a trip to the consolation runner-up battle for seventh-place honors played at 12 p.m. Wednesday.

Only two other teams return from last season’s Class 1A State Tournament field, including second-rated Akron-Westfield and 12th-rated Belle Plaine. Only four other teams in this year’s season grand finale field were rated in the final Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union top-15 rankings, including sixth-rated Clarksville, seventh-rated Westwood, 11th-rated Colfax-Mingo and 12th-rated Belle Plaine.

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