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Straughn KLD tourney starts today

For the next three days, all six area high school varsity softball teams will play in Straughn’s annual Kirsten L. Dean memorial tournament.

The KLD softball tournament began five years ago when Dean, an eighth grade student at the time, was killed in a car accident.

“She would have graduated high school last year,” Straughn girls coach Ray Wilson said. “We have been having this tournament in her memory. It has been a good tournament and a competitive tournament in the past even though each year we seem to have different teams in it.

“This year, it’s really a county tournament,” he said.

Wilson said this is the first year that all six teams from Covington County will participate in the tournament.

There are two pools in the tournament — “Pool A” and “Pool B.”

Andalusia, Pleasant Home and Straughn are in “Pool A;” and Red Level, Opp and Florala are in “Pool B.”

Today, the tournament will kick off between Andalusia and Straughn at 4 p.m.

Then Andalusia will play Pleasant Home at 5:30 p.m., and Straughn will play Pleasant Home at 7 p.m.

On Friday, teams in “Pool B” will play each other.

Red Level will start with Florala at 4 p.m.; Florala will play Opp at 5:30 p.m.; and Opp will play Red Level at 7 p.m.

The tournament will transition from pool play to a single elimination format for the games on Saturday.

Games on Saturday start at 10 a.m. with the No. 2 and No. 3 from each pool playing each other.

The No. 1 from each pool get a by and will start after the first games.

Spectators can pick up tournament passes that are $9 for the whole tournament. The cost of admission each day is $5 per person.

Passes can be picked up at the gate.

For Straughn to have success at its own tournament, Wilson said the team must play “good defense” and be able to “hit the ball well.”

“We’re playing some new teams,” Wilson said about Red Level, Florala and Opp. “It’s good to play new county teams. I’m looking forward to it being a big crowd.”