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The Fastpitch Bulletin, Volume 21, Number 22 - June 4, 2022

06/04/2022, 8:00pm CDT
By Bob Tomlinson

Some Trivia about the WIAA State Softball Tournament Series

Final Four listing included tonight

Hello Fastpitch Softball Fans,

Tonight's Fastpitch Bulletin is mostly about my thoughts surrounding past WIAA state tournament series, the upcoming State Tournament and Final Fours and more.

On May 11th my wife Karol and I embarked on a 1400 mile drive to Salt Lake City to visit my son Eric who moved there a year ago. Those of you who know me well have met Eric as he has been really involved in the game his entire life and was actually our outfield coach during his sophomore, junior and senior years of high school. With the aid of a Tomlinson's Ulitmate Fungo he shephered those players on the 1998-1999 and 2000 outfielders and through the use of a simple gimmick got them running and diving for balls at every practice. 

His gimmick? It was a Dove Candy bar. But he called it a Dove Bar as in she dove for that ball. Once they started diving for balls during games he would reward them with one of those candy bars at the next practice or he might have had a few with him at games and rewarded the diver on the spot. 

Eric has become interested in the Salt Lake City East High School (the one where High School Musical was filmed) softball team. His new home is just 2 Salt Lake City blocks from the field at East High School so he started watching games last year and continued this year. When Karol and I were out there she agreed to watch the first two innings of East's second round game against Northridge HS which is in Lathrop about 40 miles north of downtown SLC. On Monday the 16th Eric and I watched East beat Northridge to win the best of three series in two games. We had a great chat with the Athletic Director at East while we watched the game. Today, I received a bright red East Softball t-shirt. You'll probably see me wearing it at Goodman Diamond next weekend on one of the days.

Each year during the week between the Sectional Finals and the State Tournament I enjoy going through old Tournament programs. Tonight I was browsing through the program from last season. I enjoy looking at the page where they list the state champions and the runnerup and the coaches of those teams. 

The next page of statistical information has a headline of Team Performance History where it lists how many state tournament appearances every school in the state has made (if they have ever been there).

I think they need another category though where they list teams that make the Final Four. The lower enrollment schools whose teams that make it to the state tournament (all those below Class A, or now called Division 1) are actually in the Final Four. The Class A, now called Division 1 schools who make it the state tournament are actually playing a quarter final when they play their first game. Therefore to compare equally or fairly a Final Four berth evens the playing field (especially when it comes to coaching awards).

Here are the schools whose teams have appeared in the most Final Fours with 7 or more berths therein including this year. 
Stevens Point  15 Final Fours in 
Oakfield 14 Final Fours
Poynette 12 Final Fours
Ashwaubenon 9 Final Fours
Elmwood 9 Final Fours
Grantsburg 9 Final Fours 
Horicon 9 Final Fours 
Loyal 9 Final Fours
Pacelli 9 Final Fours
Denmark 8 final Fours
Kimberly 8 Final Fours
Marion 8 Final Fours
Belmont 7 Final Fours
Chippewa Falls 7 Final Fours
Hurley 7 Final Fours
Marshall 7 Final Fours
New London 7 Final Fours
Seneca 7 Final Fours
Thorp 7 Final Four
Verona 7 Final Fours
Watertown 7 Final Fours
Wilmot 7 Final Four

Note: There is a high number of schools in what was called Class A and is now called Division 1 whose teams have made a high number of trips to the state tournament site but did not win their first game. You can see all of those schools on the Team Performance History Page in the annual tournament program. 

In Division 1 this year only Superior had to win four games to make it to the Elite 8 level because they reached Madison as the #5 seed in Sectional #1. They beat the #12 seed Wausau East, the #5 seed New Richmond, the #1 seed Chippewa Falls and the #3 seed Stevens Point. The rest of the Division 1 Elite 8 Field, Kaukauna, Milton, Sun Prairie, Hamilton, Cedarburg, Oshkosh West and Oak Creek all played three games to reach Goodman Diamond. 

Here is a list of Class A, now Division 1 schools that have played in at least six Elite 8s at the state tournament site. 

18 Stevens Point 
16 Ashwaubenon 
14 Chippewa Falls 
12 Homestead 
12 Verona 
11 Cedarburg
11 Wilmot
10 Hamilton
10 Kimberly  
10 Oak Creek 
9 Appleton East 
9 Watertown 
8 Madison LaFollette 
8 South Milwaukee
8 Sun Prairie
8 Westosha Central formerly Salem
7 Germanton
7 Oshkosh West
6 Menomonee Falls
6 Menomonie
6 Milwaukee Bay View

If you are a coach or affiliated internally with one of the 24 teams in the tournament this year and have some names that would be easily mispronounced by the public address announcer, be sure to give that person a phonetically correct pronunciation sheet (and from my experience that sometimes doesn't even keep a kid's name from getting butchered from the announcer in the press box. I believe each person being introduced should be announced correctly. It's embarrassing to have one's name read aloud incorrectly when being introduced. 

In conclusion tonight -- With less than two outs, how many more ways are there to score from third compared to second?

Have a great weekend!
Keep it Rising!



Tag(s): Bulletins