1. South Laurel (20-12 overall, 14-1 vs. 13th Region opponents)
The Lady Cardinals, like most other teams in the region, have been hard to figure out. But one thing is for certain, no team has dominated Region play like Carly Mink’s squad. South Laurel owns a region-best 14-1 mark against regional teams with its only loss coming against Corbin in a slim 2-1 setback. The Lady Cardinals could be the best hitting team in the region, and their pitching bends but seldom breaks against regional foes. If their defense doesn’t make many mistakes, they could be winning their first region crown since 2014.
2. North Laurel (15-13, 5-2)
Don’t let North Laurel’s record fool you, they’re a really good team, and could easily be ranked No. 1. No team has played a schedule as the Lady Jaguars have. They’ve got a tough game out of the gate and then could face Corbin, a team they’ve split a pair of games with this season.
With that said, don’t be surprised to see North Laurel bring home a region championship.
3. Corbin (15–16, 12-6)
The Lady Redhounds are just as good as any team in the region. They’ve got the hitting and pitching to bring home the program’s first 13th Region championship. To do so, they’ve got to stay away from errors and get solid hitting and pitching at the same time. Corbin is a hard team to figure out, though. They’ve won at least three games in a row twice this season. The Lady Redhounds possess a 5-4 record against Region tournament teams.
4. Knox Central (21-9, 18-4)
The Lady Panthers are the hottest team in the tournament. They’ve won 18 games in a row with hopes of extending it to 21 by the time the tournament is over. Bethany Hensley has done a fantastic job with this team and should be the front runner for the region’s Coach of the Year award after starting the season 1-7.
5. Jackson County (20-12, 8-7)
The Lady Generals are one of the dark horses in the tournament. They eliminated defending 13th Region champions Clay County in the 49th District Tournament but they’re 0-1 against Knox Central. I’m interested to see what they do on Saturday.
6. Middlesboro (15-19, 12-9)
The Lady Yellow Jackets might not have the prettiest record in the tournament but they’re another team that you can’t look past. When they hit the ball, they’re tough to beat. They’re 0-2 against Corbin this season, getting outscored by a combined score of 23-6.
7. Harlan County (13-9, 9-7)
The Lady Black Bears are a dangerous team. They surprised Corbin a few weeks ago and knocked off the Lady Redhounds in come from behind fashion. I know South Laurel cruised past Harlan County during the two teams’ earlier meeting this season but the Lady Cardinals need to be careful and not overlook the Lady Black Bears.
8. Lynn Camp (20-15, 14-10)
It just seems as if the Lady Wildcats just can’t get over the hump. They’re talented, and they’re a good team but their record against the teams in the region tourney is 1-8. The draw didn’t do them any favors either. It’s going to be hard to knock off North Laurel.