So we are underway in qualifying for Natsu Koushien with the extreme ends of the country starting play.
In Okinawa, as mentioned by one of my readers, Kounan is gone, gone at the hands of Maebaru in sayonara fashion 2-1. Good teams still need to reload, and some have advantages over others. Kounan... is not one of them.
Back on opening day, a power of the past in Okinawa Suisan barely got through their first game 2-1 over Yaeyama.
The draw was cruel to 2 former Koushien participants as Kadena and Yaeyama Shoukou drew each other in the 1st round. Far from being an exciting game, Kadena put them to bed early with a 10-0 mercy rule win in 6 innings.
We had our first crushing loss on Day 2 when Okinawa Tousen scored 4 in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Chubu Nourin 8-7 while Urasoe and Urasoe Kogyou both advanced.
Rounding out the first weekend of competition in Okinawa, Chinen and the peculiar Showa Yakkadai Fuzoku (A pharmacy university senior school) advanced easily.
Up in the more milder north of Hokkaido, Kita Hokkaido started play just yesterday. After shutout wins by Shibetsu and Kushiro Meiki on opening day in Kushiro, the Kushine region is off to a wild start. Over in Kushiro Shimin, the combined team of Akan, Kiritappu, Kushiro Higashi and Shiranuka, called 阿霧釧東白, let an early 2-0 lead slip away to Kushiro Tousen before tying the game in the 8th. They had another chance to win after scoring in the 11th, but allowed Kushiro Tousen back in. They would finally win 5-4 one inning later.
The other game had Kushiro Shougyou let a similar lead slip away to Teshikaga in the 8th. That game too would head to enchousen where Kushishou would score 4 to put the game away for good.
The only other game is in progress with Kushiro Konan about to mercy rule Nemuro up 7-1 after 5 full innings of play.
Minami Hokkaido got off to a cruel start as in Hakodate Oceans Stadium, Minami-Kayabe gave up 13, 9 and 13 runs to 2nd tier Hakodatedai Yuuto. They showed mercy after that scoring no runs to win 35-0.
The carnage continued on day 2 as of the 5 games on tap that day, only 1 was decided by less than 5 runs as Shizunai ruined Ootani Muroran's comeback bid with a run in the 8th to win 4-3.
Day 3 finally saw some competitive games, as for example Hakodate Ootani blew a 4-1 lead to Hakodate Suisan only to win in 12 by the score of 5-4.
The first recognizable name showed up on Day 4 with LaSalle defeating Yakumo handily 9-1 in 7. Komadai Tomakomai finally made their appearance today defeating Muroran Shimizugaoka 5-2 in what probably was a game where the regulars sat.