In recent years I've made bold, cocky predictions about how the region softball teams would do in the postseason. I've picked three or four teams getting to Indianapolis in the past, and I've been right.
This year, however, Nostradamus is firing the green-yellow ball at my bald head — and it's a fastball.
While many area teams will win sectional titles next week, I'm not so sure if any can get to Indy. I'll decide as I write.
Highland Sectional: The blind draw put a hurting on Lake Central and Munster, the two best teams in the field. They open Monday. That could help the darkest horse in the tourney, Lowell. The Devils will get to the final but Lake Central will get it done, but not without some white knuckles.
Crown Point Sectional: Again, the best two teams, Crown Point and Chesterton, open against each other with a stingy Portage team waiting in the semis. The Bulldogs have freshman ace Miranda Elish and home-field advantage.
C.P. wins, beats Lake Central and comes up short at the semistate. I'll take Center Grove to win it all.
Clark Sectional: The record keeps skipping. Again and again the best two teams open. Griffith and Gavit in the first round is the championship game. Period. Why is Roosevelt even playing? Let's hope no one gets hurt.
I will go with the Panthers because of their strength of schedule. That is the difference.
Kankakee Valley Sectional: This one is fun. You have defending state champ Andrean, without Nikki Steinbach, the host Kougars and a dangerous Hanover Central team. You've got a better chance picking the correct Powerball numbers.
Andrean will play K.V. in the final. And the 59ers will edge out another one and then beat Griffith in the regional. That's where the party ends. Gibson Southern wins 3A.
Lake Station Sectional: This is another three-horse race. Bishop Noll is the favorite with Wheeler and Whiting just behind. The Warriors will win their first sectional since 2006 if Noll's bats are banging. I believe they will be. The Bearcats and Oilers will be tough outs, though.
And what happened to Lake Station softball?
Rochester Sectional: One word: Rochester. Hebron has had a great season with some big wins, but the Zebras will be too much. For Noll, too, in the regional. And the black and white animal will go to Indy and win state.
LaCrosse Sectional: Single A softball hasn't been the same since Whiting was bumped up and Mel Dumezich moved to Texas. This one is between Kouts and Washington Twp. I'll pick the Senators in an upset.
South Central Sectional: This one is between the hosts and Westville. I'll go with the Satellites because they're a wee bit better and I like the tune by POD. Neither local winner will get past the regional but they'll get to ride the firetruck, so not all is lost.
It doesn't matter anyway. Tecumseh is going to win another state title on June 8 at Ben Davis.
That is how I see it. I hope I'm wrong. Who wants to see Da Region go 0-for-4 in 2013?
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.