The high school baseball and softball postseasons officially begin Thursday.
In baseball, the Southwestern 4A has been dominated by Providence High and Ardrey Kell, who have both been nationally-ranked at points this season. By beating Ardrey Kell on Monday, Providence won it's third-straight regular season Southwestern 4A championship and earned the top seed in the conference tournament, which begins Thursday. Ardrey Kell finished second in the conference.
But the league isn't just top heavy. Fourth-seeded South Mecklenburg upset Providence earlier this season and third-seeded Butler took Ardrey Kell into extra innings, finally losing by one run in 11 innings. Fifth-seed East Mecklenburg also upset Ardrey Kell 11-7 April 26.
In a one-and-done format, all four of those teams could have a shot at the championship.
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In softball, Ardrey Kell and Independence have been at the top of the conference most of the season. The two split the regular season series and have a good chance of meeting in the championship game to break the tie. Butler and Providence have the best chance to upset the top two but would have to play the best they have all season to win the championship.
First-round games for softball and baseball will be played Thursday at the site of the first and second seed teams. Softball semifinal games are Friday at Ardrey Kell and baseball is Friday at South Meck. The championship games will both be played at UNC Charlotte on Monday. (Story went to print before tournament seeds were finalized.)
Hickson signs with Wofford
Providence Day senior basketball player Kevin Hickson signed to play at Wofford College next year at a ceremony at the Mosack Athletic Center April 26.
"I am very proud of Kevin and thrilled that he is going to have the opportunity to play basketball at the next level," Providence Day coach Brian Field said in a statement. "This has been a dream of his for many years and he has worked incredibly hard to reach this goal. I am confident that Kevin's best days as a basketball player are still ahead of him."
Hickson averaged 7.9 points and seven rebounds a game for the Chargers this year.
Country Day wins Palmetto Championship
Al Dickens won the individual title and Charlotte Country Day boys' golf won the team title at the Palmetto High School Championship in Ocean Isle Beach, S.C., April 22-23.
The tournament featured 48 teams from 10 states this year.
Dickens, a senior at Country Day, led going into the final two holes of the tournament, but a bogey on the 17th and a double bogey on the 18th put him in a tie and forced a playoff with Charles Spry of Forsyth Country Day (Lewisville). Both shot 144 over 36 holes.
Dickens won on the second playoff hole with a par on the par-3 11th hole.
After falling out of contention late in last year's Palmetto Championship, the Bucs held off Forestview (608) and Forsyth Country Day (611) to win the team title with a 605.