Class AA presents challenge

The Bellwood-Antis High School softball team made history last season with its first District 6 championship, but a very difficult road was unveiled for the Lady Devils as they try to do it again, this time in Class AA.

The district released its official pairings and seedings for all classifications except Class AAAA on Monday. The playoffs begin on Thursday.

As the fifth seed, the Lady Devils could find themselves facing defending PIAA semifinalist Central in the quarterfinals and 2012 6-AA champion Philipsburg-Osceola in the semis, both on the road. B-A will have to turn away visiting Westmont Hilltop in the first round if it’s to get that far.

In addition to P-O, Claysburg-Kimmel was the only other area team to enter the postseason with a No. 1 seed. The Lady Bulldogs were upset in last year’s Class A final by Bellwood. Claysburg will start its attempt to make it back and finish the job this time on May 20 when it hosts Williamsburg.

Eleven area teams are part of the three brackets that were released on Monday. Mirror teams made the biggest dent in Class AA, where four of the top five teams are from the area – P-O is first, Penn Cambria second, Central fourth and Bellwood fifth.

Portage is seeded third in Class A. Hollidaysburg has entered the Class AAA tournament and is seeded fourth; the Lady Tigers will meet up with No. 1 Johnstown on May 23.

The championship games will be played at Penn State on May 29.

DISTRICT 6 PLAYOFFS

All games at 4 p.m. unless noted:

THURSDAY

CLASS AA FIRST ROUND

Bishop McCort (16) at Philipsburg-Osceola (1)

Mount Union (9) at Marion Center (8)

Penns Valley (13) at Central (4)

Westmont Hilltop (12) at Bellwood-Antis (5)

Huntingdon (14) at Blairsville (3)

Cambria Heights (11) at Richland (6)

Ligonier Valley (10) at Bald Eagle Area (7)

Juniata (15) at Penn Cambria (2)

MONDAY, MAY 20

CLASS AA QUARTERFINALS

Mount Union/Marion Center winner vs. Bishop McCort/Philipsburg-Osceola winner

Westmont Hilltop/Bellwood-Antis winner vs. Penns Valley/Central winner

Cambria Heights/Richland winner vs. Huntingdon/Blairsville winner

Ligonier Valley/Bald Eagle Area winner vs. Juniata/Penn Cambria winner

CLASS A QUARTERFINALS

Williamsburg (8) at Claysburg-Kimmel (1)

Bishop Carroll (5) at Ferndale (4)

Conemaugh Valley (6) at Portage (3)

West Branch (7) at Southern Huntingdon (2)

THURSDAY, MAY 23

CLASS AAA SEMIFINALS

Hollidaysburg (4) at Johnstown (1)

Bellefonte (3) at Somerset (2)

CLASS AA SEMIFINALS

Westmont Hilltop/Bellwood-Antis/Penns Valley/Central winner vs. Mount Union/Marion Center/Bishop McCort/Philipsburg-Osceola winner

Cambria Heights/Richland/Huntingdon/Blairsville winner vs. Ligonier Valley/Bald Eagle Area/Juniata/Penn Cambria winner

CLASS A SEMIFINALS

Bishop Carroll/Ferndale winner vs. Williamsburg/Claysburg-Kimmel winner

Conemaugh Valley/Portage winner vs. West Branch/Southern Huntingdon winner

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29

at Penn State

CLASS AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP

Semifinal winners, TBA

CLASS AAA CHAMPIONSHIP

Semifinal winners, TBA

CLASS AA CHAMPIONSHIP

Semifinal winners, TBA

CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP

Semifinal winners, TBA