It was at this time of the year a season ago the status of the season went from good to special.
One year ago the Barton softball team turned a good season, a 31-17 regular season that included a 12-12 Jayhawk West record. The best marks in several years for the Cougars.
But things got special when Barton rolled through the region tournament to capture the Region VI title.
This year’s regular season far surpassed last year’s numbers – 48-6 overall and 19-5 in the West. A school record for wins in a regular season.
But right now – for the next three days – that doesn’t matter. The goal for the Barton softball team is to repeat as Region VI champions.
Action will get started for the Cougars at 5 pm Friday when Barton takes on Garden City in first round action.
Last season the Cougars were the No. 4 seed and not viewed as a serious threat to the kingpins of the region – the Butler Grizzlies.
This year as the No. 2 seed, ranked No. 9 in the NJCAA, and the only team to beat Butler from the region, the Cougars are viewed as the most dangerous threat to the top seed and sixth ranked Grizzlies (43-4).
The Cougars contest again Garden should not pose a serious threat. The Broncbusters were winless in the West (0-24) and are 8-38 overall.
Awaiting the winner of the Cougars’ opener will be the winner of third seed Colby (40-16) and sixth seed Pratt (13-29). That contest will be played Saturday at 9 am – the first of six games scheduled on the day.
The other half of the bracket has top seed Butler receiving a bye while fourth seed Dodge City (19-21) plays fifth seed Seward (26-30).
The tournament will wrap up Sunday with three games and a fourth if needed.
2016 NJCAA Region VI Division I Softball Tournament
East Park, El Dorado (Double Elimination)
Friday, April 29
Gm 1 - (1) No. 6 Butler (43-4) vs BYE
Gm 2 1 pm - (5) Seward County (26-30) at (4) (19-21) Dodge City
Gm 3 3 pm - (6) Pratt (13-29-1) at (3) (40-16) Colby
Gm 4 5 pm - (7) Garden City (8-38) at (2) (48-6) No. 9 Barton
Saturday, April 30
Gm 6 9 am - Pratt/Colby Loser vs Garden/Barton Loser
Gm 7 11 am - Seward/Dodge Winner vs Butler
Gm 8 1 pm - Pratt/Colby Winner vs Garden/Barton Winner
Gm 9 3 pm - Winner Gm 6 vs Loser Gm 7
Gm 10 5 pm - Winner Gm 5 vs Loser Gm 8
Gm 11 7 pm - Winner Gm 7 vs Winner Gm 8
Sunday, May 1
Gm 12 10 am - Winner Gm 9 vs Winner Gm 10
Gm 13 12 pm - Winner Gm 12 vs Loser Gm 11
Gm 14 2 pm - Winner Gm 13 vs Winner Gm 11 - Championship
Gm 15 4 pm - (If Needed)
May 11-12 2016 NJCAA District E Championship
Region IX Champion at Region VI Champion
Winner advances to NJCAA D-I Championships at Canyons Complex in St, George, UT on May 18-21.