Maybe MSHSAA sent out an alert to high school softball coaches, saying they must play in a tournament to start the 2014 fall season. Or at least it comes off that way in my neck of the woods.
All five high schools — Fayette, New Franklin, Glasgow, Harrisburg and Higbee — begin their softball seasons this weekend via tournament play. After three weeks of practice, I think coaches are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping rain doesn’t pass through Mid-Missouri on Saturday, allowing their teams to get in 2-3 games.
Well, this blog post is your one-stop central post for all of the tournament action for schools in the Howard County coverage area. Let’s take it one bracket at a time, starting with Fayette.
Fayette participated in the Prairie Home Tournament last season, but the Lady Falcons got out of that for Marshall. Had Fayette remained in Class 2, this was a great tournament, because Slater is the only school in this tournament smaller than Fayette. The downside now is Fayette opens the tournament against a team already on its schedule. That being said, Fayette stands a really good chance of bringing home a trophy in this tournament and gets to play in an 8-team tournament (The Prairie Home Tournament only had four teams and the Fayette Tournament only fields six teams).
Not the most favorable of first-round draws for New Franklin, but if you’re gonna beat one of the top-two teams in a tournament, you might as well do it early. This will be an interesting test for the Lady Bulldogs, who lost three All-State players from a year ago, but return plenty of talented starters and replacements. Last year, New Franklin came in third and Pilot Grove took second behind Boonville, so don’t rule out the small schools in this tournament.
Fayette graduate Ashanti Williams will make her high school softball head coaching debut at Tina-Avalon against Glasgow on Saturday. The Lady Jackets graduated their All-Conference, All-District and All-Region battery pairing from last season, but this first-round game should be a pretty good matchup. This used to be an eight-team tournament, but Keytesville dropped out and started its own tournament. More on that in a minute.
If I remember correctly, it actually did rain last year during the Hallsville Tournament, and Harrisburg was only able to play one game before the storms came. Harrisburg, the No. 7 seed in this year’s tournament, picked up a pretty tough draw with Sturgeon, and both teams will be in the same district this season. I’ll be curious to see which team comes out on top of this bracket.
The Keytesville Tournament — as I had prefaced earlier — is unlike the other four tournaments this weekend because there are only four teams and it’s of a round-robin format. But at least this way, every team gets in four games. For Higbee, this tournament replaces the CCAA Tournament, since the Lady Tigers are no longer members of the CCAA.