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Sports column: Tourney could be best yet

By Stephen Dawkins

This week marks the return of one of my personal favorite sports events: the Chilton County softball tournament.
And, believe it or not, this year’s tournament might be even better than in the past.
While the county baseball tournament the past couple of years has been shortened from a weeklong, double elimination event to a single-elimination, two-day tournament, the softball tournament this season is taking the opposite approach.
In the past, the softball tournament has been played over two days using a standard bracket. This year, the tournament will be stretched over three days, with the first day being pool play and the next two days a single elimination tournament.
Pool play, which will determine seeding for the bracket portion, will be played at two different fields at Thorsby’s Sam Bentley Park. The next two days’ games will be played at Jemison High School, the tournament host.
The new format will guarantee each team three games instead of two. It will also guarantee fans more softball to watch.
The tournament should be competitive once again, with every county team entering the tournament with a legitimate chance to win.
I think that increasing the number of games played will only increase the chances upsets because teams in some cases will be forced to throw their second—or even their third—pitcher instead of relying on one pitcher to make it through the tournament.
Maplesville will likely come into the weekend as a top 10 team, and Thorsby is only a couple of years removed from being ranked themselves. Still, Chilton County, the county’s largest school, has won two out of the last three tournaments.
The fun starts Thursday, and I encourage everyone to attend. You won’t be disappointed.

– Dawkins is the assistant managing editor for The North Chilton Advertiser.