With softball season now in full swing, it’s tournament time in Stephens County.
As part of their first week in regular season competition, Central High, Velma-Alma and Waurika will try to be the lone team standing this weekend at the annual Lady Broncho Invitational at Central High.
Along with those three local clubs, the field will include Chattanooga, Ryan, Elmore-City Pernell, Apache, Sterling, Temple, Walters, Navajo and Ninnekah.
For Lady Bronchos coach Chad Weldon, the tournament will serve as a measuring stick for his team against local opponents.
“It’s a great opportunity for us at the beginning of the season to have some of that tournament experience,” Weldon said. “We’ll get to see where we stand against a lot of the teams from around here.”
The Lady Comets have gained plenty of experience playing multiple games over the course of a day. V-A played in the Marlow summer league and competed in the Duncan Festival last weekend. With four freshmen on the team all looking at significant playing time, chances to play in a tournament bodes well, head coach Lacy Darity said.
“They’ve got a lot on their plate as freshman, but if they can gain confidence earlier in the season and play older than they are, it will be a huge help,” Darity said.
Waurika enters the fray having split its first two games of the year. The Lady Eagles opened with a win against Monday Empire before falling to Healdton Tuesday.
Head coach Ivy Fitzgerald’s team will be the first local team to take action at the tournament Thursday in Bracket A. Waurika will open with Chatanooga at 8 a.m. and will face Sterling at 11:30 a.m., Ryan at 1:50 p.m. and Elmore City-Pellmore.
Central High and Velma-Alma will take the diamond Friday in Bracket B. The Lady Bronchos are scheduled to face Ninnekah at 8 a.m., the Lady Comets at 11:30 a.m., Navajo at 4:10 p.m. and Walters at 8:50 p.m.. Velma-Alma’s schedule will include Temple at 9:10 a.m., the Lady Bronchos at 11:30 a.m., Ninnekah at 3 p.m. and Navajo at 6:30 p.m..
Saturday will decide the tournament champion. Each bracket will be determined by the record of the previous two days, and teams with the same rankings will face off. The top teams from A & B will play for the tournament title, while the second place teams will compete in a third place game.
Play begins Thursday with Waurika taking on Chattanooga at 8 a.m..