Carlese Franklin displays all-around ability for VooDoo _lowres

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- Mount Carmel pitcher Shelby Wickersham will be a key figure as the Cubs go into the state softball playoffs as a No. 2 seed in Class 5A.

John Curtis will make its run for a fourth straight state softball championship as the favorite.

The Patriots are the No. 1 seed in Class 3A in the LHSAA state playoff pairings announced Thursday.

“I think it’s an accomplishment for the girls,” Curtis coach Jerry Godfrey said. “We’ve played some good talent that was good enough to be there. Unfortunately, when you start playing next week it doesn’t matter if you are No. 1 or No. 31. You have to go out and play and give it your best.”

Curtis will be going for its second straight 3A crown after winning 2A titles in 2012 and 2013.

The Patriots will open the playoffs Monday, when they host No. 32 seed Iowa.

Curtis was the only team in the New Orleans area to nab a top seed.

Three local schools earned No. 2 seeds in the playoffs.

St. Charles is the No. 2 seed in 3A, which could set up a possible Curtis vs. St. Charles championship game in Sulphur.

St. Charles beat Curtis 4-1 in their only meeting of the season.

Mount Carmel, seeking its first state championship since 2008, is the No. 2 seed in 5A and Riverside is the No. 2 seed in 2A.

Mount Carmel made it to the quarterfinals last season, while Riverside reached the semifinals.

The eight teams that advance past the second round will go to Sulphur for the LHSAA Fast Pitch 56 state tournament. The quarterfinals, semifinals and championships are scheduled for May 1 and May 2.

Three other local teams are seeded in the top eight in their classification and could make it to the Top 56, barring an upset.

Hannan is the No. 4 seed in Class 2A and will host No. 29 Lakeside in the first round at 6 p.m. Monday.

“I think we have a tough road ahead of us,” Hannan coach Becky Lambert said. “I like where we are. I would have liked to get that No. 3 seed, but the rain and losing our last two games to that didn’t allow us to get there. I’m happy where we are. . You have to play each team you line up against in the bracket, and it is a new season. Season 2.”

Lakeshore is the No. 4 seed in Class 4A and will host Franklinton in the first round.

Pope John Paul II is the No. 8 seed in Class 2A and opens against Opelousas Catholic at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“We’re happy to have particularly finished in the top eight like we did,” PJP coach Mark Jeanmard said. “That helps us with home playoff games in the first two rounds potentially, if we are fortunate enough to win the first round. You have to take the playoffs as one-game seasons, because if you don’t win the first one, your season is over with.”

Twenty-eight teams from the Greater New Orleans area qualified for the playoffs.