It’s a slow time in the YAIAA sports world right now, with winter sports wrapping up and the spring ones just getting started. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking ahead at some of games that will definitely be worth watching these next few months. With that in mind, here's five YAIAA softball games that should be on your schedule.
Delone Catholic at Bishop McDevitt, March 26 at 11 a.m.
While this one isn't a league game, its definitely one to pay attention to. Bishop McDevitt reached the Class AAA District 3 playoffs last season, but got blown out, 11-1, by Delone Catholic when the two teams met in the regular season. Although the Crusaders will want to get some redemption, it won't be easy against a Squirettes squad expected to be among the best in the YAIAA. Delone returns six of its starters from last season, including stars Shelbee Holcomb, Cassie Rickrode and Katie Laughman. This game will be the Squirettes' season opener, and they should be motivated to get off to a strong start.
Dover at Susquehannock, April 20 at 4:15 p.m.
The first and second place teams in Division II last season, Dover and Susquehannock could both be contenders again in 2016. We'll know much more about both teams when they meet in April, but there should be plenty of talent on the field regardless. The Eagles return two of the league's best players in Natalie Cutright and Alyssa Lawton, while the Warriors bring back Mallory Lebo, Lily Yoakum and Maddy Staub. The Eagles won both matchups between the two teams last season (8-6, 3-1). They will play each other again at Dover on May 9.
Dallastown at Central York, April 20 at 4:15 p.m.
Dallastown finished second in Division I last season, and lost by one run both times it played league and division champion Central York. While both teams graduated top players (Haylee Anders from Dallastown, Kayla Resh and Kelsey Wisner from Central York) last season, they will likely be near the top of the standings in Division I again, putting plenty of importance on this game.
Littlestown at Kennard-Dale, April 12 at 4:15 p.m.
A year after winning the Division III title, Kennard-Dale was dethroned by Littlestown last season. At YAIAA spring sports media day on March 5, Littlestown head coach Henry Wardrop said the Thunderbolts now have a target on their backs and shouldn't expect the Ram "to go quietly into the night." While both teams will be extremely motivated on April 12, the second game between the two schools on May 2 will also be very important. Last season, the Rams won the first matchup but the Thunderbolts claimed the second and the division.
Spring Grove at South Western, April 14 at 4:15.
One of the best rivalries in the YAIAA, South Western and Spring Grove finished third and fourth in Division I last season. Spring Grove is looking to rebuild after losing Haley Norton to graduation, but the Rockets still have solid players in Julia Wivell and Kira Hull. South Western returns star catcher Kaitlyn Chell and is looking to improve upon last seasons 12-7 record. The teams will also play at Spring Grove on May 4.