Baseball & Softball

(KMAland) -- Well, we’ve almost done it. We almost made it through the softball and baseball regular season without completely spontaneously combusting, and we had a lot of fun while doing it. Right? 

Before the season started, I had my thoughts on who would win the area conferences. Some of you had your own thoughts and disagreed with me. That letter I received in the mail was not nice! (Note: I did not actually receive a letter based on my conference picks.

In any event, let’s take a look back at those conference predictions, the actual results and then make fun of how silly I was/am.

HAWKEYE TEN CONFERENCE

Softball Pick: Harlan

Actual Winner: Atlantic

Hey, I was pretty clear and concise in my opinion that it was either going to be Atlantic or Harlan (with Creston as a sleeper). And when Atlantic beat Harlan in eight innings, that looked like it was going to be the deciding game. Creston – remember, my sleeper(!) – went ahead and beat Harlan earlier this week to make sure any Trojans loss would have to be coupled with another. They never did lose, though. They went 10-0, and they earned themselves a conference ‘ship. And me a big 0-for-1.

Baseball Pick: Lewis Central

Actual Winner: St. Albert & maybe Lewis Central

St. Albert nearly killed my pick on the second game of the season after they beat Lewis Central (one day after beating Harlan). However, Kuemper brought it back to life by handing the Falcons their lone conference loss of the season. Lewis Central has one more conference game – against Creston – to grab a share of the conference crown, but for those of us that believe in head-to-head tiebreakers it’s all St. Albert’s. But…I might get half credit. I shouldn’t, really, but I might. 0-for-2.

CORNER CONFERENCE

Softball Pick: Fremont-Mills

Actual Winner: Griswold and Sidney and Stanton

I had three chances to get this right, and I failed. Everyone point at me and laugh. I deserve it. In my defense, though, Fremont-Mills wasn’t all that far off. They did get hit around pretty hard to open the year against Sidney, but their conference loss to Stanton was by one and their conference loss to Griswold was by two. It was a wrong pick, but it wasn’t a terrible pick. Don’t confuse the two! 0-for-3.

Baseball Pick: Stanton

Actual Winner: Sidney

Stanton did win the Corner Conference Tournament, but I wasn’t picking the Corner Conference Tournament champion. I was picking the regular season champion, and Sidney came out and did. the. dang. thing. They did the dang thing. I don’t know who saw it coming, but probably some people from Sidney did. Impressive stuff from the Cowboys this summer. 0-for-4.

WESTERN IOWA CONFERENCE

Softball Pick: Logan-Magnolia

Actual Winner: Riverside

Chris Conover told Trevor Maeder to tell me “thanks” for making this pick. You’re welcome, Chris. You’re so very welcome. The truth is, Riverside completely handled business in the conference this year. They are undefeated with a pair of walk-off wins over Underwood and my choice Logan-Magnolia to make sure of it. I tip my proverbial cap to you, Riverside. To me? You should throw oranges at me. 0-for-5.

Baseball Pick: Treynor

Actual Winner: Underwood

This looked to be Tri-Center’s after their win over Underwood, but those in the WIC knew better. Because the WIC is stone cold. Once T-C knocked off the Eagles, they became the hunted team. Everybody lined up their studs against them, and man…that 14-inning loss basically turned into three losses in a matter of days. Meanwhile, Underwood handled business by beating Lo-Ma, Treynor, AHSTW and Audubon by a combined 25-4 score. That’s getting it done, dudes. 0-for-6.

PRIDE OF IOWA CONFERENCE

Softball Pick: Wayne

Actual Winner: Martensdale-St. Marys & Wayne

They didn’t play a full conference schedule in the Pride of Iowa this summer, but Martensdale-St. Marys and Wayne have proven to be the best two teams in the conference. Wayne beat MSTM on day two of the season to throw out the opening salvo, but they later lost to the Blue Devils in the return game. So, let’s call it a split. 0.5-for-7. I’m on the board.

Baseball Pick: Martensdale-St. Marys

Actual Winner: Nobody, but Martensdale-St. Marys

Look, no full Pride of Iowa Conference schedule or not, we all know the Blue Devils are the best team in this league. And also look, my three-year-old son could have correctly picked this league. MSTM is really, really, really good. They’re state champion good. We already knew that. Don’t give me any credit for making the easiest and most obvious pick of them all. I mean….unless you want to? 1.5-for-8.

ROLLING VALLEY CONFERENCE

Softball Pick: West Harrison

Actual Winner: Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton

Once again, I had the two best teams pegged, but I ended up picking the one that finished second. The Spartans ended up going 8-0 in the conference while West Harrison was 7-1. When the two got together, it was a plenty dominant 7-1 win by Exira/EHK on the third day of the season. West Harrison is playing a lot better now than they were then, but that’s not meant to give me any sort of a consolation prize. Because I don’t deserve one. I’m terrible. 1.5-for-9.

Baseball Pick: Coon Rapids-Bayard

Actual Winner: CAM

I wish I could say it came down to the one-run win for CAM over Coon Rapids-Bayard, but it did not. CR-B later lost to West Harrison, and the Cougars were clear and clean on their way to the conference crown. I failed you all again. But also, big ups to the CAM Cougars. They’re real good. 1.5-for-10.

MISSOURI RIVER CONFERENCE

Softball Pick: Sergeant Bluff-Luton

Actual Winner: It’s not over….

Sergeant Bluff-Luton and LeMars could have decided things last night with one of them picking up a sweep. Instead, they split, and they’re now tied atop the conference at 10-2 with two more games to go. SBL has winless Sioux City West on Thursday while LeMars gets a capable Sioux City East team. Both teams also lost one game to Heelan, who is 8-4. I feel pretty good about at least getting a share correct here. Let’s call it for 2-for-11.

Baseball Pick: Sergeant Bluff-Luton

Actual Winner: It’s not quite over, but I’m looking pretty good.

The Warriors have a two-game lead in the loss column, and they have two games left. They are against a pretty solid Sioux City West team, but even if they lose both of those they would get a share of the deal. Let’s just say, I finally may have got one. A pending 3-for-12.

BLUEGRASS CONFERENCE

Softball Pick: Twin Cedars

Actual Winner: Twin Cedars

Hey! This one I nailed. Twin Cedars has one more conference game to go – tonight against Orient-Macksburg – but they are assured of at least a share. And they beat the team – Melcher-Dallas – with one loss. Everyone, all hail Derek Martin. I finally got a softball pick correct. 4-for-13.

Baseball Pick: Lamoni

Actual Winner: Lamoni & maybe Ankeny Christian

Lamoni can clinch the outright championship tonight with a win over Mormon Trail. If they don’t win that game then Ankeny Christian merits a share, although we also have to give a nod to the fact that the Demons did beat ACA last week. That was some week, man. They beat Central Decatur, Ankeny Christian and Twin Cedars in a span of three days. And in doing so, they may have also landed me a correct prediction. I will admit, though, it was plenty easy to pick this team to win the Bluegrass. Regardless, I’ll take some credit. If you’ll give me some, that is.

Final scoreboard: 5-for-14. Bad. Very bad. BUT….if I hit 5-for-14 (or the equivalent of that – a .357 batting average), they would put me in the Hall of Fame. So, I guess I win then.

Send any questions, comments and/or concerns to dmartin@kmaland.com.

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