(HILLSBORO) The softball state playoffs are officially in full swing with the Hillsboro Hawks and Perryville Pirates meeting Wednesday in the Class 3 Sectionals round on KJFF and KREI.

The Pirates survived the District 1 tournament as the 4-seed by beating 5th-seeded Sikeston, top-seeded Cape Notre Dame, and 3rd-seeded Doniphan. Perryville head coach Dustin Wengert says after last year’s winning record and appearance in the district championship game, he and his players felt good about their chances of a strong 2018 campaign.

But this season has been quite challenging according to Wengert, as evidence of their 6-13 record heading into the district tournament last week.

Coach Wengert knows his players are in for a scrape-and-claw kind of game.

Hillsboro enters the game at 19-9, after having to come back and beat Windsor in the District 2 semis and then getting a 1-hit shutout performance from Emma Nichols in the championship game against DeSoto. Head coach Kevin Lucas says the girls have the utmost confidence they can win any game with Nichols pitching, but he doesn’t want that to get to their heads.

These two have played each other before this season with the Hawks winning 5-0 back in early September. Coach Lucas reflects on that win and what that means for the game this time around.

A chance to play in the state quarterfinals is on the line Wednesday for Perryville and Hillsboro. The Hawks are hosting. Tune into AM 800 KREI and AM 1400 KJFF at 5:15 for our pregame coverage of the Class 3 Sectionals.