Area teams gear up for regional tourneys


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Two Garland County teams will be kicking off their run for a state baseball title on Thursday with three more from the surrounding communities also hitting the road for their respective regional tournaments. A win for any team on Thursday guarantees a state tournament berth

The three larger school districts in the county — Hot Springs, Lakeside and Lake Hamilton — finish up their regular season on Friday with the Class 5A state tournament set for May 9 in Benton with the top four teams from the 5A South bound for the postseason.

Fountain Lake (18-4) and Mountain Pine (8-10) will both take the field on Thursday but in vastly different areas of the state.

The Cobras, who won the 3A-4 conference, will be traveling to 3A-2 Regional host Booneville, a roughly two-hour drive to familiar territory as the Bearcats finished third in the 3A-4. However, Mountain Pine has an unenviable three-hour trek to 1A-4 Regional host Taylor, and its ballfield is a short eight-minute drive to the Louisiana border.

Fountain Lake, as the winner of its conference, will take the field at 3 p.m. Thursday against Baptist Prep (12-12), the No. 4 seed out of the 3A-5 conference. The winner will take the field at 2:30 p.m. Friday against the winnner of 3A-5 runner-up Mayflower (13-11) and Booneville (16-7).

The tournament championship is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday with the third-place game at noon. Harrison, which holds two state titles (2008, 2015) will host the Class 3A state tournament.

Mountain Pine, as the runner-up of the 1A-7 conference, will be the home team against No. 3 seed from the 1A-8 Bradley (8-12) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner will face off at 2:30 p.m. against the winner of tournament host and 1A-8 winner Taylor (16-6) and No. 4 seed out of the 1A-7 Kirby (3-9).

Taylor, a five-time state title holder that has reached the semifinals or finals every year since their 2013 state championship, will host the Class 1A state tournament.

Both Arkadelphia (19-5) and Malvern (15-9) will play on Thursday in the 4A-South Regional at Magnolia. The 4A-7 conference winning Badgers will be on the home side of the scoreboard at 10 a.m. against No. 4 seed from the 4A-8 Camden Fairview (8-11). Malvern will be on the visitor’s side of the scoreboard against host Magnolia (12-8) in the 12:30 p.m. game. The winners of those games will face off at noon on Friday for the semifinal.

Southside Batesville will be the host of the Class 4A state tournament.

Magnet Cove (19-8), which won the 2A-5 South conference, has the 10 a.m. game against Conway St. Joseph (16-9), who finished fourth in the 2A-5 North. The winner will play at noon on Friday against the winner of Pangburn (17-13), the 2A-5 North runner up, and Carlisle (16-9), which finished third from the 2A-5 South.

Salem will host the Class 2A state tournament at Mountain Home Parks and Recreation.

  • Magnet Cove will be the only area softball team continuing into a regional tournament this week.

The Lady Panthers (12-11) finished second in the 2A-5 South and will face Pangburn (17-9), the No. 3 seed from the 2A-5 North conference, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner will play Friday at 2:30 p.m. against the winner of 2A-5 North winner Quitman (23-4) and Bigelow (15-6), the fourth-place finisher from the 2A-5 South.

Salem will also host the Class 2A state softball tournament at Mountain Home Parks and Recreation.

Sports on 05/01/2019

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