FRIDAY SOFTBALL TOURNAMENTS
Lady Wildcats March Madness
At Hixson High
• 3:30 p.m. -- Hixson vs. East Ridge; 5:15 -- Hixson vs. Cleveland; 7 -- Grace Academy vs. Marion County.
At Hixson Middle
• 3:30 -- Silverdale Baptist Academy vs. Grace Academy; 5:15 -- Red Bank vs. Marion County.
• 5 p.m. -- Rhea County vs. Bradley Central, Sale Creek vs. McMinn County, Sequatchie County vs. Midway, Kingston vs. Sequoyah; 6:30 -- Johnson County vs. Bradley Central, Polk County vs. McMinn County, Sequatchie County vs. Rhea County, Kingston vs. Sale Creek; 8 -- Johnson County vs. Midway, Polk County vs. Sequoyah. 8 -- Johnson County vs. Midway, Polk County vs. Sequoyah.
The rain that washed away Monday's high school sports schedule is playing havoc with the rest of the week as well, at least in baseball.
There are three tournaments scheduled this weekend: McMinn Central's Cure for Cancer Classic, South Pittsburg's Homerun Club Classic and Hixson's Wildcat Classic. Because many were scheduled to play district games and their league rules stipulate that postponed games be made up as soon as possible, most of Monday's baseball games will be played Wednesday.
Among the changes today, again brought about by the rain, is Sequatchie County hosting Silverdale Baptist at 6. That game was originally set for Silverdale, which does not have a tarp.
While the district rules are good for most, McMinn County has had to adjust. The Cherokees are to host the opening game of the Cure for Cancer tournament but will bump that game from a 6 p.m. start to 7 to get in a makeup game with Walker Valley at 4 p.m.
Once through Wednesday, it's on to the tournaments.
The Wildcat Classic will use fields at Central and Ooltewah before it gets to Sunday's 2 p.m. championship game at Hixson. The South Pittsburg tournament is using its home field plus sites at Sequatchie County, Grundy County and Lookout Valley. That championship is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at South Pittsburg.
The Scenic City Invitational has changed its format and will not have a true champion. Games will be played at McCallie, the host team, and at Baylor and Red Bank.
Horton to Covenant
Abby Horton of state runner-up GPS has committed to play soccer at local NCAA Division III power Covenant College, and her Bruisers teammates and others joined her Monday morning to celebrate.
"It is pretty much a dream for me to go there," Horton said, "to continue my spiritual growth and be involved with a wonderful team and coaches."
She described the Lady Scots who play for Mark Duble and longtime assistant Gene Ezell as "really close-knit" and "encouraging."
GPS coach Leland Strang said Horton would fit right in.
"They're lucky to have her -- as a person and a player," Strang said. "She played central defender for us this year and was a captain of our team, and she's just a great leader. She's very coachable and very selfless, a true team player. And she has a good aerial game. She's strong in the air."
Two softball tourneys
Hixson and Meigs County are scheduled to host softball tournaments this weekend. The Lady Wildcats will host the 15th March Madness tournament at their high school and middle school fields. The Tiger Classic will take place at the Market Street fields at Dayton.
"I think with the teams we have this year, it ought to be a really competitive tournament," Hixson coach Jayme Putman said of the seven-team field that includes last year's champion, Marion County.
Pool play ends early Saturday afternoon and single-elimination is slated to start at 2:15. The championship game is scheduled for 8.
Although Meigs is hosting its tournament for the seventh time, for the first time it won't be a participant. Because one team dropped out, leaving 11, Lady Tigers coach Jeff Davis decided on pulling out, too.
"It's just a lot easier to run with 10 teams. We ought to have plenty of help," Davis said of putting his players to work, rather than hiring others. "We've never won it anyway."
After pool play concludes Saturday in the Tiger Classic, first-, second- and third-place teams will compete in the Orange bracket and the fourth- and fifth-place teams will compete in the Black bracket. Single-elimination is scheduled to start Saturday at 2 p.m. Both championship games are set for 5.