Baseball

TEAMS*

Region I: Nottoway (15-8) and Grafton (20-2-2); Region II: Fauquier (18-6) and Sherando (17-8); Region III: Cave Spring (19-3) and William Byrd (19-5); Region IV: Tazewell (17-6) and Tunstall (22-3).

* Records through Friday

SCHEDULE

Quarterfinals: Tuesday, region runners-up to play at region champions' fields; Regions I and II are paired for the quarterfinals, as are III and IV. All four region tournaments were scheduled to be completed yesterday.

Semifinals: Friday, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Calfee Park, Pulaski.

Final: Saturday, 3 p.m. at Radford University.

WHY FAUQUIER IS HERE

The Falcons are making their first state appearance since a run to the Virginia AA semifinals in 1998, thanks in part to the development of a young pitching staff. Sophomore Michael Manfro (6-1) and junior John Sinclair (7-3) lead the pack, with help from freshman reliever Brandon Bartlett (2-1, five saves), sophomore Rick Mountjoy (2-0, two saves) and junior Kevin Kelliher (1-1).

"The biggest thing is that none of them has tried to do too much," Fauquier Coach Paul Koch said. "They're not trying to strike everyone out. They're willing to let our defense play behind them, and that gives the whole team confidence."

Softball

TEAMS*

Region I: Grafton (18-4) and Smithfield (18-4-1); Region II: Loudoun Valley (22-3) and Turner Ashby (24-2); Region III: Jefferson Forest (18-5) and Rustburg (17-5); Region IV: Dan River (25-2) and Virginia (18-6).

* Records through Friday

SCHEDULE

Quarterfinals (all Tuesday): Smithfield-Grafton loser at Turner Ashby; Loudoun Valley at Smithfield-Grafton winner; Virginia at Jefferson Forest-Rustburg winner; Jefferson Forest-Rustburg loser at Dan River.

Semifinals: Friday, 5 and 7:30 p.m. at Radford University.

Final: Saturday, 4 p.m. at Radford University.

WHY LOUDOUN VALLEY IS HERE

The Vikings are the defending Virginia AA champions and boast a lineup heavy on experience, even though center fielder Jessica Burke is the lone senior. Perhaps more important to their immediate success, however, is that they are also extremely talented offensively. Seven of nine starters are batting over .400 this season, and six players have hit home runs to win games.

"That's been the key for us," Vikings Coach Joe Spicer said. "It hasn't mattered if a player is having an off night or not because someone else has always been there to get us over the top."

Girls' Soccer

TEAMS*

Region I: Courtland (19-0-1) and Tabb (11-3-1); Region II: Broad Run (18-2-1) and Potomac Falls (19-1-2); Region III: Hidden Valley (19-2) and Lord Botetourt (11-5-3); Region IV: Abingdon (17-2) and Virginia (16-2-1).

* Records through Friday

SCHEDULE

Quarterfinals (all Tuesday): Tabb at Potomac Falls; Broad Run at Courtland; Lord Botetourt at Region IV champion; Region IV runner-up at Hidden Valley.

Semifinals: Friday, 4 and 6 p.m. at Radford University.

Final: Saturday, 3 p.m. at Radford University.

WHY BROAD RUN IS HERE

The blending of skills in a three-forward alignment has made the Spartans difficult to defend. Senior Erin May, junior Liz Frank and freshman Brianna Smith all are scoring threats. Smith has scored twice this season against Potomac Falls, and May (one goal) and Frank (two goals, one assist) triggered the offense Wednesday against Fauquier as Broad Run clinched a state tournament berth.

"I had no clue how well Bri, Liz and Erin were going to work together," Spartans Coach Claire Collins said. "Bri fit perfectly, and they've done so well together."

WHY POTOMAC FALLS IS HERE

For the fourth time in five years, the Panthers are in the state tournament. In its three previous appearances (2000-02), Potomac Falls has won seven of nine games and reached the state final each time.

Many programs set the goal of reaching the state tournament but are unable to accomplish it. The Panthers place the pressure on themselves and, since returning to AA before the 1999-2000 school year, have almost always lived up to it.

"We expect to be there every year," Potomac Falls Coach Kris Kelican said. "We expect to get there and expect to do well once we do get there."

-- ANGELA WATTS and DREW VANESSELSTYN