Cedar Rapids Jefferson can make the new Class 5A state softball tournament this year without having to leave the friendly confines of its own park.
The IGHSAU released the regional pairings for the new five-class system Monday and gave the J-Hawks the opportunity to play both of their regional games at home.
The seventh-ranked J-Hawks received an opening-round bye in Region 2 and will face Cedar Falls or Waterloo West in the semifinals on Saturday, July 7 at Jefferson. If the J-Hawks win that game, they'll host Davenport Central or Davenport West in the regional finals July 10 for a berth in the state tournament in Fort Dodge July 17-21.
The IGHSAU has implemented a new five-class system for softball this year. There are 40 teams in Class 5A and 48 teams in Class 4A. Eight teams from each class will make the state tournament.
Prairie was assigned to Region 3 in Class 5A and will play at Waterloo East in the semifinals on July 7. Clinton, Dubuque Hempstead and No. 2 Iowa City West are in the same bracket.
Washington and Linn-Mar were assigned to Region 4 in Class 5A. The Warriors will play at Bettendorf in the opening round on July 5. Linn-Mar drew an opening-round bye and will host Dubuque Senior in the semifinals on July 7. Pleasant Valley, ranked No. 6, is the favorite in that bracket.
Kennedy will host Marshalltown in the first round of the Region 5 playoffs on July 5. Iowa City High, No. 4 Muscatine and No. 10 Burlington are in the bracket.
The Marion Indians and Xavier Saints were both assigned to Region 3 in Class 4A, which is now the second-largest class. Marion will host Dubuque Wahlert in the opening round July 5, with the winner playing at Xavier July 7. Clear Creek Amana, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, is the heavy favorite to reach the state tournament from that region.
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