Homer’s Zoe Adkins pitches to Palmer on Friday, May 27, 2022, at the Northern Lights Conference tournament at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Zoe Adkins pitches to Palmer on Friday, May 27, 2022, at the Northern Lights Conference tournament at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer softball looks to make dent in Southeast hegemony at state

The Homer softball team begins play at the Division II state softball tournament today in Fairbanks looking to make a dent in the dominance of the Southeast Conference.

Teams from Southeast have taken the top two spots at state since 2013. Last season, Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kale won the title, but the Crimson Bears didn’t even qualify for state this season. Ketchikan and Thunder Mountain are representing Southeast.

The tournament starts today with the six teams in pool play.

Homer (16-21) will be in Pool B. The Mariners start by playing North Pole at noon. Homer lost all three games this season to the Patriots, with all those games coming in April. Homer then plays Thunder Mountain at 5 p.m. The two teams have not met this season. Also in Pool B, North Pole and Thunder Mountain play at 2:30 p.m.

In Pool A, Ketchikan and Kodiak play at noon, Kodiak and Delta Junction play at 2:30 p.m. and Delta Junction and Ketchikan play at 5 p.m.

The results of pool play are used to place teams in a double-elimination bracket Friday and Saturday.

If last weekend’s Northern Lights Conference tournament is any indication, the Mariners come into state playing some of their best softball. Homer was 0-3 against Kodiak coming into the tournament, but topped the Bears 7-2 and 14-2 to win the NLC tournament for the fifth straight year. Homer also clinched its 21st state appearance in the past 22 years.

In 2011 and 2012, Homer was runner-up at state, but the last time a Southeast team failed to win state was in 2008, when Kodiak won. Homer’s lone state title came in 2006.

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