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PREP SOFTBALL: Meade County's TSOA Tournament could be a awash (03/27)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

 

By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com BRANDENBURG Mike Harreld doesn’t know if he should be planning for a high school softball tournament or a regatta the next two days at Meade-Olin Park. With the Weather Channel forecast calling for afternoon showers today and thunderstorms late Saturday, Meade County’s veteran coach knows his annual Tri-State Officials’ Association (TSOA) Tournament is in danger of being cancelled for only the second time since the event started in 1987. “It doesn’t look good. It looks like it could be one of the first ones to get rained out,” Harreld said. “You may have to bring a motorboat down to watch Saturday’s games.” There is a silver lining, however. Inclimate weather would allow Harreld’s Lady Waves to get a head start down to Gulf Shores, Ala., for their annual spring break trip. “If we end up playing, we’ll leave Sunday morning. We’ve talked about it if we do get rained out, we’re leaving at midnight (Saturday), so we’ll come out good no matter which way we go,” Harreld said. For now, Harreld is planning on hosting the 23-game tournament, which guarantees all 12 teams at least three games. Play starts at 5:30 tonight and 9 a.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 for a daily pass or $8 for both days. The teams are broken into four three-team pools. Breckinridge County (1-1), 16th-ranked Frankfort Western Hills (2-0) and Indiana’s Corydon Central are in Pool A, while No. 26 Central Hardin (1-1), No. 21 Meade County (2-0) and South Oldham (1-1) are in Pool B, Marshall County (1-0), No. 28 North Hardin (2-0) and No. 38 Oldham County (1-1) are in Pool C and No. 20 Paducah Heath (1-0), No. 32 Shelby County (2-0) and Taylor County (2-0) are in Pool D. “It’s a little bit different group than we’re used to, but it’s always nice to see teams from different areas in the state. You get a picture of what everyone’s got,” said Harreld, who noted he was forbidden from inviting private schools to compete. “I think they (some private school coaches) realized it was out of my hands and I was just doing what I was asked to do.” After pool play finishes Saturday morning, all teams – with the exception of Central Hardin, which is leaving for Florida after playing its two pool games tonight – advance to a single-elimination tournament at noon Saturday. Each pool winner receives a first-round bye, while the pool runner-up will play a team which finished third in its pool. The championship is tentatively set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Harreld said the tournament would be near impossible to run by himself without the TSOA’s help. “They do a great job of coming in and running the tournament basically. I just tell them what times the games are,” he said. “It takes a little bit of coordination to do it and it’s nice to hand it to them and they keep it rolling.” Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758