With the appearance of the big ball of fire in the eastern sky this morning, hope springs forth for area high school teams to be able to return to the diamond this evening to pick up their interrupted district tournaments.
Fields are expected to dry out enough to resume play in the District 5-AAA baseball and softball tournaments, while the District 5-AA postseason, which had yet to begin, hopes to get underway.
A trio of games are planned for Rhea County High School’s new softball field this evening with the host Lady Eagles and defending state champion Soddy-Daisy taking the diamond at 4 p.m. in one winner’s bracket semifinal, while top-seeded Walker Valley and No. 4 Ooltewah will square off in the other at 8.
In between, Bradley Central and Cleveland High are slated for an elimination battle with a 6 p.m. first pitch. Three more games are on tap Wednesday, including the winner’s bracket final at 8, while two games will be played Thursday to determine who will be in the championship game on Friday at 5 p.m.
Meanwhile at Soddy-Daisy High School, the local baseball teams will gather this evening, and two teams will see their seasons come to a close.
The first elimination game will start at 5 p.m. with Bradley Central taking on Rhea County before the other two local teams — Cleveland and Walker Valley — will put it all on the line at 8.
The boys’ action will continue Wednesday evening with one of the Region 3-AAA berths on the line in the winner’s bracket final between top-seeded Ooltewah and the surprising host Trojans at 5. After winning just two district games during the regular season, Soddy-Daisy came into the event as the last-place seed but has stunned both No. 2 Walker Valley and third-seeded Bradley in the first two rounds.
Tonight’s winners will play the late game Wednesday to see who advances to the loser’s bracket final, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday. The tournament championship game is planned for 4 p.m. Friday, with an “if necessary game” slated to follow immediately.
Both the District 5-AA tournaments (baseball and softball) play their entire events at the home fields of the higher seeds, but there may be one twist on that this evening.
As the No. 2 seeds, Polk County is slated to host opening-round games in both event this afternoon but if the Wildcat baseball field is unplayable then their game with Meigs County will be moved to Sequoyah High School.
“We will make a determination around 2 this afternoon as to whether we can play on our field or not,” stated Polk coach Michael Carter this morning. If we can’t, we’ll have to go to Sequoyah and play sometime around 8 or so (after the Sequoyah-McMinn Central game).” A Polk-Meigs game in Benton would start at 5 p.m. this evening.
On the softball diamond, Polk is scheduled to host Sequoyah at 5:30 this evening, while top-seeded Meigs County will entertain McMinn Central.
In both events, today’s winners will play Wednesday at the home of the higher seed, while tonight’s losers will do the same. The loser’s bracket final will be held on Thursday with the title tilt slated for Friday.
While the baseball and softball teams are hoping to get in a first pitch and more, the Cleveland High soccer team will be on the pitch at top-seeded Ooltewah tonight at 7. The fourth-seeded Blue Raiders defeated Rhea County in Saturday’s soggy tournament opener.
In tonight’s other district semifinal, Soddy-Daisy will travel to McMinn County, with the winner facing the Owl-Raider victor Thursday for the 5-AAA crown.