The five state softball tournaments return to a double-elimination championship format - they were single elimination the past two seasons - when first-round games begin Friday at sites throughout the state.
5A: RAMSEY PARK, COEUR D'ALENE
Pitcher Casey Stangel has led Lake City to a 24-0 record, and the Timberwolves have their eye on revenge after they were denied a second straight state championship by Coeur d'Alene in last year's title game. Stangel is a two-time Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year and has committed to Missouri. Eagle, Rocky Mountain, Boise and Centennial hope to get a District Three team back at the top for the first time since 2009.
4A: POST FALLS HIGH
A District Three school has claimed the past eight state championships, which bodes well for locals Bishop Kelly, Kuna and Skyview. The Hawks are the defending champions but emerged as the No. 3 team from the district. BK enters on a roll, having won 10 straight games, including the district championship.
3A: BUHL HIGH
Fruitland has won two state titles in a row and qualified as the No. 1 team from District Three. Teton boasts an 18-1 record, and Shelley returns to the 3A level after playing in the 4A classification last season.
2A: OROFINO HIGH
Defending state champion Melba failed to make the state tournament for the first time since 2002. McCall-Donnelly and New Plymouth will carry the torch for District Three. The Pilgrims finished second at state last year and won it all in 2010, but McCall is the reigning league champion.
1A: LEWISTON HIGH
Prairie has won three of the past four state titles, including two straight. District Three champion Horseshoe Bend - which hasn't lost to a 1A school this season - hopes to end Prairie's streak.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422