Why Belle Plaine will win: Momentum. Playing in its first state tournament, Belle Plaine is riding high as the top seed. During the regular season the Tigers defeated state tournament contenders East Grand Forks (5-2) and Minnehaha Academy (9-7).

Why Minnehaha Academy will win: Experience. Last year the Redhawks fell in the state title game to St. Paul Cathedral and retain much of the same roster. They’ve also proved they can win in tough conditions, taking their semifinal 4-2 over Pierz after three rain delays.

Key to watch: Can Belle Plaine, which mustered only six runs in its first two tournament games, match the Redhawks offense, which scored 15?

Matt Hoffman