The Second Region Softball Tournament begins Monday at Webster County High School in Dixon. Incredibly, three of the four first round games are identical to 2011. Of the eight winningest teams in the region this year, seven are in the tournament. The only exception is Webster County (17-20).
(11:00 am) -- Henderson County (18-14) vs. Lyon County (12-12) -- These teams began the season on opening day, and they will open the region tournament as well. Henderson County hammered Lyon County 16-1 way back on March 20th in Eddyville. Henderson County won last year's region tourney opener 13-1. Henderson County has won three straight first round games and will be looking to bring home their first region title since 2006. Lyon County hasn't won a first round game since they beat Henderson County 11-3 in the 2008 tournament. This matchup is the only one in the first round that doesn't feature teams with 20 wins.
(1:00 pm) -- Hopkins County Central (24-11) vs. University Heights (21-13) -- UHA is back in the region tournament for the first time in three years. They will be looking for their first win in the region tournament in over a decade. Hopkins Central won the earlier game between the schools 8-4 back on April 20th. UHA enters the tournament having won nine of their last 10 games. Hopkins Central has won just five of eight games coming into the tournament. They edged Madisonville 3-2 to win the Seventh District title. Hopkins County Central ended Christian County's four-year run as region champs last year and have won 10 straight region tournament openers.
(3:00 pm) -- Livingston Central (31-6) vs. Madisonville (25-10) -- This first round contest features teams both be considered darkhorses that could surprise their way to the region title game. Livingston Central has the most wins of any team in the region. The Lady Cardinals advanced to the Final Four of the All-A Classic State Tournament and went 15-1 against Second Region teams this year but did not play Madisonville during the season. Junior pitcher Emily Jenkins did not allow a single hit in two wins in the Fifth District Tournament. Meanwhile, Madisonville has won 11 of 13 games heading into the tournament with those losses to Hopkins Central and Christian County. Madisonville won a game at the region tournament last year for the first time in a decade and advanced to the title game.
(5:00 pm) -- Christian County (28-6) vs. Union County (20-13) -- Don't count Union County among those who like the Second Region draw. This year marks the third straight time they have drawn Christian County in the first round. The Lady Colonels have won the last two first round games by a combined 29-1 score. The teams have met three times this year, with Christian County winning 6-0 on March 30 and 9-0 on May 12. However, Union beat Christian County 6-5 back on May 18th, snapping the Lady Colonels' 12-game winning streak against region opponents. Union County last won a first round game in 2009, while Christian County hasn't lost a first round game since 2006.