The Burke County Post 21 American Legion Lady Fastpitch softball team will open the N.C. Area IV playoffs at home Monday at 7 p.m.
Post 21 (10-6, 8-4) is the No. 2 seed out of the Western Division and faces East No. 3 Hickory Post 48 (10-6) at Catawba Meadows Park in Morganton. Hickory won twice at Burke on June 24 in the teams’ lone regular-season matchups, 6-1 and 8-3, in the only doubleheader sweep Burke suffered all summer.
That first-round winner advances to the semifinals to face either West No. 1 Rutherford Post 423 (8-4) or East No. 4 Lincoln Post 30 (4-12) on Tuesday at 7 p.m., while the loser is eliminated.
The team that emerges out of that group of four will face either East No. 1 Wilkes Post 31 (15-1), East No. 2 Caldwell Post 329 (11-5) or West No. 3 Shelby Post 82 (8-4) in the best-of-three Area IV title series from July 26-28. In the title series, the higher seed (or higher win percentage if same seeds face) will host Game 1, and sites will alternate each game.
The Area IV champion (or highest non-Shelby finisher) advances to the state tournament Aug. 2-4 at Crest High School with the other three area champs plus event host Shelby.
NOTE: Rutherford won a draw, Burke finished second and Shelby third after all three teams shared the Western Division title and all split each doubleheader versus one another during the regular season.
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