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Spring Scope-Out: Illini Bluffs, Olympia, Brimfield lead best of area small school softball 

Illini Bluffs softball
Illini Bluffs smiles at the Class 1A softball state finals in 2023. Photo via IB Tigers Softball/X

For many years now, Central Illinois has been a respected region in softball and Illini Bluffs is a big reason for that. The Tigers made their fourth straight state finals appearance in Class 1A and look to be the cream of the crop yet again with seven returning starters. 

However, Illini Bluffs isn’t the only team in the Peoria and Bloomington/Normal area that has state dreams, as Olympia and Brimfield/Elmwood lead a talented group of local Class 2A squads. Down in the Twin Cities, Normal U-High and Bloomington Central Catholic are coming off strong campaigns and will encounter many of the teams on this list throughout the season. 

Below, we take a look at the top returners, breakout candidates, and games to watch for the best of the rest outside of the Mid-Illini, Big 12 and Heart of Illinois conferences in Central Illinois softball.

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