A handful of East Valley 6A baseball and 6A softball teams playoff aspirations are hanging in the balance with the final week of regular season play at hand. Suffice it to say this is a playoff week for them.
6A baseball teams that clinging to life are #23 Chandler, #25 Highland, #26 Mesa and #28 Westwood as of the April 17 power rankings. The top 24 teams qualify for an extended season -- 1-8 automatically to the 16-team, double-elimination state tournament and 9-24 at least to one play-in game to be among the 16. One region and possibly two outside the East Valley could crown champions who are not in the top 24. Those region champs could bump teams #23 and/or #24 in the final rankings.
Here's what's left for the aforementioned 6A baseball teams: Chandler has one game with #11 Perry and two with #27 Brophy Prep. Chandler is eliminated from the Premier Region title race. Highland has one game with #34 Gilbert and two with #4 Corona del Sol. The Hawks have a faint pulse in the Central Region race with Mountain Pointe and Corona, but winning the region with three wins and enough help elsewhere is not likely. Mesa has one game with Westwood and two with #17 Red Mountain. Mesa can't win the East Valley Region so it must qualify via an at-large berth. Westwood has a game with Mesa and two with Skyline. Winning the region would require a sweep of its final three games and help from Dobson or Mesa. The Warriors enter the final week tied with Red Mountain and Skyline for the East Valley Region lead.
6A softball, with the same playoff format as 6A baseball, has #20 Dobson, #21 Gilbert, #22 Chandler, #24 Mesa Mtn. View; #25 Basha, #26 Westwood and #28 Highland with life -- no guarantees.
Games remaining for the seven EV softball teams above, at or below the 24-team cutoff. None of them can win their region, so it's an at-large berth or nothing. Here's what they have left: Dobson -- Mountain View, #37 Mesa and #33 Skyline. Gilbert -- Highland and #6 Desert Ridge twice. Chandler -- #5 Perry and #23 Xavier Prep twice. Mountain View -- Dobson, Westwood and Mesa. Basha -- Campo Verde #17-5A and #7 Hamilton twice. Westwood -- Skyline, Mtn. View, #11 Red Mountain. Highland -- Gilbert and #8 Corona del Sol twice.