Prep Softball: Cordova, Sumiton Christian chase state berths at regional

Cordova’s path to the State Softball Tournament in Montgomery is simple — win and you’re in. For Sumiton Christian, which dropped its second regional game to Sand Rock on Friday night, the path is a more complicated. The Eagles have to win three consecutive games to earn their 11th straight trip to state. Both teams will be in action on Monday at Bowers Park in Tuscaloosa. Rainy conditions on Saturday pushed the final day of the West Central Regional Tournament to Monday with games starting at 11 a.m. Oakman already punched its ticket to the state tournament on Friday, winning the Class 3A’s top qualifier. The Wildcats open play against No. 9 Wicksburg at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in Montgomery. Cordova has played inspired softball since losing its regional opener to Hokes Bluff (6-4). With no room for error, the Blue Devils earned wins over Handley (13-1), Lincoln (10-1) and got even with Hokes Bluff (6-1).

Cordova (20-16-1) plays No. 4 White Plains (30-10) at 11 a.m. on Monday. White Plains dropped a 2-1 decision to Good Hope in the game to determine the top Class 4A qualifier from the regional. The top two teams from each regional advance to next week’s state tournament. No. 3 Sumiton Christian, which last missed out on the state tournament in 2008, opened the regional with a 15-0 rout of West End before dropping a 5-1 game to No. 4 Sand Rock. Sumiton Christian (35-21-1) will begin what the Eagles hope is the long road to the No. 2 qualifier spot against the Ranburne-Cleveland winner at 12:30 p.m. Monday. If Sumiton Christian wins its opener, the Eagles would have a short turnaround before playing in another elimination game. The Eagles finished as the state runner up in Class 1A to Brantley last season.