State softball begins Friday in north Idaho. Of the 40 teams to reach state, four are from District 6. Here is how they got to the postseason.
CLASS 5A: Rigby (14-12)
Rigby makes its first state tournament appearance since 2016, the Trojans' last season in 4A. The No. 3 seed in the 5A District 5-6 tournament, the Trojans trailed No. 1 seed Highland 9-3 through five innings of the 5A District 5-6 championship game before scoring six runs in the final two frames. A hit by pitch, a walk and an error allowed Rigby to cut the deficit to 10-9 in the top of the seventh, but Highland held on to take its fourth consecutive district title.
Seven of Rigby's losses this season are to teams that also reached state (Idaho Falls, Mountain View, Highland), including five losses to Highland. The Trojans have not advanced to the winner's bracket of the state tournament since 1999, which was also the year of their last state softball trophy (fourth place in A-1).
Rigby begins the tournament against District 3 champion Mountain View (24-3) at 10 a.m. (Mountain Time) Friday at Post Falls High School. Rigby played Mountain View on March 30 during the Win the Pitch Tournament in Nampa, losing 10-0 in six innings.
CLASS 4A: Idaho Falls (22-4)
Idaho Falls makes its first back-to-back state softball appearance since going to 5A tournaments in 2004 and 2005. This is I.F.'s fourth appearance at state in 14 years. The Tigers tied a program-best finish last season by placing fourth. I.F. also placed fourth in 2002, 2000 and 1997.
Only two players graduated from last year's 24-8 team. Eight members of I.F.'s roster this year are seniors. Of the four losses this season, three are to Idaho schools (Mountain View, Blackfoot and Bonneville). The Blackfoot and Bonneville losses were by one run.
Idaho Falls faces the same first-round opponent as last year, District 3 runner-up and two-time defending state runner-up Ridgevue (20-7), at 10 a.m. (Mountain Time) on Friday at Ramsey Park in Coeur d'Alene.
CLASS 3A: South Fremont (14-7)
South Fremont makes its first back-to-back state softball appearance since doing so in 2002 and 2003. The Cougars also won their second consecutive 3A District 6 championship and went undefeated versus District 6 teams this season. The Cougars carry a six-game win streak into state. Five of their losses are to teams which also reached the state tournament (Filer, Snake River, West Jefferson).
The Cougars placed fourth last year to finish 17-6 overall. It was the first time South Fremont won a state tournament game since 2000 and was the first state trophy in program history, per Post Register and Idaho High School Activities Association records. Two members of last year's team graduated. The Cougars begin state against District 1 runner-up Priest River at noon (Mountain Time) Friday at Ramsey Park in Coeur d'Alene.
CLASS 2A: West Jefferson (19-4)
West Jefferson makes its third consecutive state tournament appearance, fourth in six seasons and a District 6 record 14th appearance overall. The Panthers enter state having won their third consecutive 2A District 6 title. West Jefferson graduated three from last year's team, which went 1-2 at state.
Three of West Jefferson's losses are to teams which also reached state (South Fremont, Malad). The Panthers carry a four-game win streak into state. West Jefferson has won seven state softball trophies, its most recent one in 2014 (fourth place). Their best finish at state was third in 2008.
West Jefferson opens the state tournament versus two-time defending state champion and District 3 runner-up New Plymouth (18-9) at noon Friday at Moscow High School.