Sulphur to host 1st regional; Turner earns Class A bid

Out of Kingston, Plainview and Sulphur, only one can make it to the state tournament.

It's an unfortunate scenario for the Lake Country Conference rivals, but one that presents intriguing matchups heading into Thursday's Class 3A regional tournament.

The three teams, along with Coalgate, will face off in the double-elimination tournament at Sulphur High School. Sulphur, which swept two games from Tishomingo en route to a district championship last week, earned the right to host the regional by finishing the season ranked among the top eight teams in 3A.

The Bulldogs (25-8) will host their first regional in school history, and are also playing for their first ever state tournament appearance.

"It's a great opportunity to host," Sulphur coach Heath Gilbert said. "The main thing is we've got three good teams coming in here. Plaivniew and Kingston are playing really well right now, and Coalgate has beaten some good teams lately."

Both Sulphur and Plainview breezed through their district series in two games, but Kingston had to go to a winner-take-all Game 3 at Davis, winning 3-2.

The Redskins, however, enter as arguably the hottest team around, winners of seven of their last nine. Kingston also went 2-0 against Plainview and Sulphur in regular season play.

Plainview lost to both Kingston 7-6 and Sulphur 8-0 earlier in the season, but is the only one of the four teams in the regional with state tournament experience.

Last season, Plainview won its regional to advance to state in 3A.

"I think that's a great thing to have, that confidence we had going into it," Foster said of being a returning regional champion. "I'm hoping that pays off in the end.

There's a three in four chance it will pay off for someone this week.

"The good thing is there's a pretty good chance someone in our area is gonna get to go to the state tournament," Gilbert said.

Turner Falcons host first regional

A 22-4 season was rewarded with a regional host site for the Turner Falcons in Class A.

Turner swept its district series from Waurika last week, which was enough for the Falcons to earn their first regional in Shane Hill's three-year regime.

"I know that Sterling's got a reputation for always being good, Central has been in and out of the top eight and Elmore has beaten Central," Hill said. "I'm feeling pretty positive about our chances, but we've still gotta come out and play."

Healdton will look to make its first return to the fastpitch state tournament since 2010, when it made it to the championship game in Class 2A. But the Bulldogs (18-13), who rolled through district play 3-0, will have a tough task in taking down No. 1 Roff, who is the host team.

Healdton will play Macomb in its first game of the double-elimination tournament, with Roff and Bowlegs squaring off in the other first-round game.

Erik K. Horne