The high school softball season is switching into playoff mode and local teams are hoping to save their best for last.
Class 1A schools Dupo and Valmeyer begin regional play next week.
Dupo (13-8) will take on Okawville in the Centralia Regional at 4:30 p.m. May 14.
Valmeyer (3-11) battles Lebanon in the New Athens Regional on May 13.
Dupo edged Red Bud on Monday, 7-6. Reagan Carner went 2-for-4 and picked up the win in the pitching circle.
Cameron Foster went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Tigers, who played at Marissa on Tuesday.
Carner is hitting .500 with six home runs, 24 RBIs and 34 runs and is 8-3 as a pitcher with a 3.50 ERA.
MyKenzie Kloess is hitting .540 on the season with 27 RBIs and 20 runs scored. Foster is hitting .485 with 10 stolen bases and 20 runs scored.
Last Tuesday, Dupo lost 5-0 at New Athens. Kloess collected two hits for the Tigers.
Valmeyer picked up a 7-6 win over Lebanon on Monday. The Pirates held on after Lebanon plated five runs in the seventh inning.
Chelsea Hooker, who leads the team in hitting at .472, went 3-for-3. Aspen Schmidt went 2-for-2 with three runs and also pitched a complete game with five strikeouts.
The Pirates hope to defeat the Greyhounds to open regional play on Monday.
Schmidt is hitting .300 with 10 runs this season.
The Class 3A regional schedules will not be released until Friday, but Columbia and Waterloo are prepping for postseason greatness.
Columbia (15-7) lost to Highland on Thursday, 8-0. Lindsay Wibbenmeyer collected her 100th career hit in the loss.
The Eagles hosted Carlyle on Tuesday, host Breese Central on Thursday and play at Edwardsville on Friday.
Lexi Touchette leads the team in hitting at .462 with four home runs, 24 RBIs and 23 runs.
Mikaela Kossina is hitting .429 with 19 RBIs and is 5-1 as a pitcher with a 2.75 ERA.
Kaelyn Rheinecker is hitting .410 and is 7-4 as a pitcher with a 1.80 ERA.
Other key players on offense are Wibbenmeyer (.354, 27 RBIs) and Ava Khoury (.338, seven home runs, 27 RBIs).
Waterloo (11-11) lost 3-2 to Jerseyville in a hard-fought battle on Monday.
Heather Albers and Taylor Downen each went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs, who hosted Waltonville on Tuesday, host Civic Memorial on Wednesday and play Triad on Saturday.
Izzy Wahn leads Waterloo hitters with a .508 average to go along with 17 RBIs and 17 runs.
Abbey Goff is hitting .485 with 11 doubles, 22 RBIs and 20 runs.
Downen is hitting .434 with 27 RBIs.
Madison Limestall leads the pitching staff with a 6-3 record and a 2.53 ERA.