DOVER _ Parsippany has been unfazed by its Morris County Softball Tournament seedings in recent years.
Whether the Red Hawks fell into the teens, the top 10 or were the seventh seed, like they were in 2017 when they claimed their first MCT title since 1986, they have the same intent. The objective is to play smart softball and battle through the bracket.
On Tuesday, April 17, Parsippany, undefeated after seven games and eager to defend its championship, was voted the top seed for the 2018 MCT. Although coach Greg Cleary may have been elated, he held his emotions in.
"We've had the same approach for the last four years since we've been competitive," Cleary said. "It we play our best, we can beat anybody. If we don't play well, we can lose to anyone. I like to stay on an even keel and I have the players think that way, too.
"I don't feel that there's a target on our backs because of being the top seed. It's nice to be recognized. It's cool. We used to hand in our uniforms in mid-May. Now we're playing under the lights. We're in the county or sectional finals.It takes a lot of hard work. We'd like to keep things going."
Once-beaten Chatham is the second seed followed by Jefferson. Rounding out the first 10 are Mendham (4), Hanover Park (5), Mount Olive (6), Randolph (7), Roxbury (8), Kinnelon (9) and Pequannock (10). Last year's runner-up, Morris Knolls, is the 11th seed in the 26-team tournament.
Preliminary-round games must be played by Saturday, April 21. First-round matchups must be completed by Wednesday, April 25. Quarterfinals are slated on or before Saturday, April 28.
Landing Park will be the site of the semifinals on Saturday, May 5 at 5 and 7 p.m. The final is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m., also at Landing Park.
Preliminary and first rounds
Winner of Morris Hills (17) at Montville (16) at Parsippany (1)
Winner of Whippany Park (18) at Morristown (15) at Chatham (2)
Winner of Morris Tech (19) at Butler (14) at Jefferson (3)
Winner of Parsippany Hills (20) at Morris Catholic (13) at Mendham (4)
Winner of Dover (21) at Madison (12) at Hanover Park (5)
Winner of West Morris (22) at Morris Knolls (11) at Mount Olive (6)
Winner of Morristown-Beard (23) at Pequannock (10) at winner of Mountain Lakes (26) at Randolph (7)
Winner of Villa Walsh (24) at Kinnelon (9) at winner of Boonton (25) at Roxbury (8)