The road to the LHSAA state softball tournament will start at home for Sam Houston and Westlake.
The LHSAA released the playoff brackets on Thursday and both Sam Houston and Westlake earned top-10 seeds.
Riding the momentum of winning its fifth consecutive District 3-5A championship, Class 5A No. 5 Sam Houston (22-6) will host No. 28 H.L. Bourgeois (14-14) on Monday at 5 p.m. in the bi-district round.
Sam Houston won four state championships from 2011 to 2015 but lost in the regional round last year.
Sam Houston could end up with a regional round matchup with District 3-5A foe No. 21 Comeaux (16-12), who handed the Lady Broncos their only district loss last week, 6-5. Comeaux travels to No. 12 Mandeville (24-6) in the first round.
Also from District 3-5A, No. 7 Barbe (20-6) will host No. 26 New Iberia (13-15) and No. 10 Acadiana (21-6) will host No. 32 Slidell (13-14).
Noticeably absent is the Sulphur Lady Tors (8-14) who ended up two spots short of the playoffs at No. 34. It is the first season Sulphur has missed the playoffs since 2009.
Westlake (19-6) claimed the No. 8 seed in Class 3A and will host District 4-3A rival Iowa (10-19) in the first round.
It will be the third consecutive year that Westlake, the District 4-3A champion, has hosted in the first round of the playoffs but they are looking for their first playoff win since 2010.
Also out of District 4-3A, No. 21 Jennings (9-18) will travel to No. 12 Erath (17-12), No. 19 Iota (19-12) will travel to No. 14 West Feliciana (13-10) and No. 18 South Beauregard (15-11) will travel to No. 15 Church Point (18-7).
In Class 2A, No. 23 Vinton (5-14) will make its fifth straight playoff appearance when it travels to No. 10 Lakeside (18-9) in the bi-district round.
Other first round game involving District 4-2A teams include No. 25 Welsh (8-13) at No. 8 Kinder (17-11), No. 21 South Plaquemine (11-8) @ No. 12 DeQuincy (15-12) and No. 22 Lake Arthur (8-14) at No. 11 Mamou (14-12).
With the addition of five new divisions bringing the number of teams to 96, the state tournament will start a day earlier than usual. The tournament will run from Thursday, April 27th through Saturday, April 29th.
The No. 1 seeds in each bracket this year are Alexandria (5A), North DeSoto (4A), Brusly (3A), Rosepine (2A), LaSalle (1A), Evangel Christian (I), Parkview Baptist (II), Calvary Baptist (III), Vermilion Catholic (IV) and Claiborne Christian (V).
The only defending state champ not in the playoffs this year is six-time defending Class C champion Hackberry who finished .1138 points short of the final playoff spot in Class C.