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Gearing up for the playoffs

This week marks the first week of April, and with it, the first week of the final full month of the high school baseball and softball seasons.

This is a crucial time for all teams, as those who are assured of a postseason berth are trying to build momentum and assure themselves of the best possible seeding.

Others are fighting to just make it to the playoffs, while others are hoping to just have something to build upon heading into next season.

In the Messenger’s coverage area, we have teams in each of those categories.

Let’s start with the bad news. Pike County probably won’t be seeing the postseason in either sport, but both teams have young talent that they hope to develop heading into the offseason, so a strong finish is critical.

Meanwhile, Goshen has both of its teams fighting for their proverbial postseason lives. The baseball Eagles have a shot at the playoffs thanks to its recent victory over Highland Home, but there is a lot of work to be done if they hope to be playing at the end of April.

The Lady Eagles, meanwhile, have struggled a bit thus far this season, but have more than enough talent to be playing in Troy come May 7.

The Charles Henderson softball team also has a shot at the postseason, but its road is made tougher by having Rehobeth, one of the state’s top teams, in its area.

Then, we come to the cream of the crop.

Let’s start with Pike Liberal Arts. The softball team has had some success this season, and has found itself either ranked in the top 10 or on the cusp of a state ranking all year.

Meanwhile, the baseball Patriots have been absolutely dominant this season. A trip to the playoffs is assured, and a deep run is likely.

The Patriots just seem to have too much offense to be stopped, and look even better now that they are coming off an impressive win over No. 1-ranked Glenwood

The first week in May should be interesting around these parts, as PLAS has a shot at being in Montgomery for the AISA state finals May 5, just days before the AHSAA will play its semi-finals.

Charles Henderson has made a steady climb up the polls, and has shown that it has the tools and the talent to be there come May 6-7. The Trojans have shown that they have one of the best defensive ball clubs in the state and a pitching staff that should be feared, but they must show more plate prowess if they hope to hoist the trophy in May.

It’s been an eventful school year so far, and with all these great teams still playing, it’s far from over.

Nick Duke is a sports writer for The Messenger, and he can be reached at nick.duke@Troymessenger.com or on Twitter at Messenger_Nick.