By Ron Brocato, Clarion Herald Sports
Twice state champion Archbishop Hannan and 2008 titlist St. Charles Catholic were scheduled to meet at Hannan April 20 in a match that will send the winner to Sulphur for the Division II state semifinals on April 26.
Hannan and St. Charles Catholic just needed to win their first playoff games on April 17.
No strangers in the diamond tournament, the two archdiocesan schools met in the playoffs last season. St. Charles Catholic won that encounter, 4-1, to gain a berth in the semifinals, where the Comets lost to Parkview Baptist.
The Comets also defeated Hannan in the 2017 quarterfinal round.
Since 2008, the first year of playoff seeding, the two schools have been regulars at the Frasch Park complex.
Hannan has won two Class 1A titles (2011, 2012) and was the Class 1A runner-up in 2013. The Hawks have made the trip to Sulphur nine times.
St. Charles Catholic has made 10 appearances at the state tournament over the last 11 years. The Comets won the 2008 Class 3A title over Parkview Baptist, 2-1, and has been a quarterfinalist six times.
While these two local teams struggle for the berth to the semifinals, the Division I No. 1 softball seed, St. Mary’s Dominican, has already earned a trip to the semifinal round on April 26 without having played a game.
As the top seed in the small, seven-team, Select-school bracket, Dominican, the reigning division runner-up, drew byes in the first two rounds.
Other local Catholic schools gaining entrance to the post-season are Mount Carmel and Archbishop Chapelle in Division I; Cabrini, Academy of Our Lady and St. Scholastica in Division II; and Pope John Paul II and St. Katharine Drexel Prep in Division III.