The 2004 Shenango Valley Modified Softball League playoffs begin Monday, July 26 with the start of divisional semifinals.

     Three-time league champion Pioneer Home Equity owns home-field advantage throughout the 2004 playoffs. PHE (16-4) will play No. 4 seed Thunderplex (6-15) in the American Division semifinals. The other American semifinal pits No. 2 seed Common Ground (15-6) against No. 3 Hickory Grille (11-9).

    In the National Division playoffs, division winner Tony's Pizza and Pub (16-5) meets Unique Design (3-18) in one semifinal. The other semifinal pits second-place Rodgers and Co. (8-13) against Notre Dame (8-13). All semifinal series are best-of-3. 



Pioneer Home Equity (17-4) vs. Thunderplex/Ponderosa (6-15) -- Pioneer Home Equity begins its quest for a fourth straight league title against Thunderplex/Ponderosa ... Pioneer swept all three regular-season meetings this season, including a come-from-behind 17-9 win at Thunderplex July 9 ... Pioneer has won 10 straight games entering the playoffs ... Pioneer is undefeated at home this year ... Thunderplex dropped 11 of 12 at one point this season before opening July with four wins in six games ... Thunderplex has a two-game winning streak on the road but has not played away from Vienna since a 13-9 win at Unique Design July 6 ... Thunderplex entered last year's nine-team tournament as the fifth seed and was swept by Coast to Coast in the quarterfinals ... Winner will play Common Ground-Hickory Grille in division finals. (Game One, Monday, July 26, at COG, 6:30 p.m.; Game Two, Tuesday, July 27, at Thunderplex, 6:30 p.m.; Game Three {if necessary}, Wednesday, July 28, at Thunderplex (Pioneer will be home team), 6:30 p.m.)

Common Ground (15-6) vs. Hickory Grille (11-10) -- Common Ground looks to extend its best-ever season by winning a playoff series for the first time in the club's four years while Hickory Grille seeks a berth in the divisional finals in its inaugural season ... Hickory Grille began its late-season surge with a 14-5 win at Common Ground July 7 ... Common Ground owns the league's longest win streak this year, rattling off 12 consecutive victories from June 6 until the July 7 loss to Hickory Grille ... Common Ground did win the season series, 2-1, however, winning 5-2 May 23 and 7-5 on June 30 ... Winner will play Pioneer Home Equity or Thunderplex/Ponderosa in division finals. (Game One, Wednesday, July 28, at Common Ground, 6:30 p.m.; Game Two, Thursday, July 29, at COG, 6:30 p.m.; Game Three {if necessary}, Sunday, July 31, at Common Ground, 6:00 p.m.)


Tony's Pizza and Pub/Lenbils (16-5) vs. Unique Design (3-18) -- The only National Division team to finish above .500, Tony's owns home-field advantage throughout the divisional playoffs ... Tony's owned a nine-game win streak early in the season and spent a portion of the season atop the overall league standings ... Tony's swept the season series with Unique and is defending league runner-up ... Unique Design has suffered several close setbacks in recent weeks, including two narrow losses to Pioneer in a doubleheader last Sunday (8-7 and 6-4) ... Unique Design is trying to snap a nine-game losing streak ... All series games will be played at St. Paul, home field for both teams ... Winner will meet Rodgers and Co. or Notre Dame in division finals. (Game One, Tuesday, July 27, at St. Paul, 6:30 p.m.; Game Two, Thursday, July 29 at St. Paul, 6:30 p.m.; Game Three {if necessary}, Sunday, July 31, at St. Paul, 6:00 p.m.)

Rodgers and Co. (8-13) vs. Notre Dame (8-13)  -- In the only divisional semifinal matchup of teams with identical records, Rodgers and Notre Dame square off ... Rodgers earned second place in the division and home-field advantage for the semifinals by taking two of three meetings this year with Notre Dame ... Rodgers started the season 0-10 but rallied to win eight of 11, including a critical 10-9 win July 13 over ND ... Notre Dame started the season 6-0, then lost 13 of its final 15 games ... Six of Notre Dame's eight wins came at home ... No team had a greater home-field edge this season than ND, which last won on the road June 1 ... Notre Dame reached the league semifinals as the second seed but lost 2-0 to No. 3 Tony's Pizza and Pub ... Winner plays either Tony's Pizza/Lenbils or Unique Design in division finals. (Game One, Tuesday, July 27, at Holy Trinity, 6:30 p.m.; Game Two, Thursday, July 29, at Notre Dame, 6:30 p.m.; Game Three {if necessary}, Sunday, July 31, 6:00 p.m.)

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