Playing for Kirsten

Published 12:04 am Thursday, March 22, 2012

Straughn’s Rachel Edson makes contact with the ball during her team’s game against Ashford earlier this season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

SHS girls to hold 7th annual memorial tournament

For the past eight seasons, Straughn’s Lady Tigers have come together and held a tournament to celebrate a former player’s life.

They will get that chance once again as the seventh annual Kirsten Dean Memorial Softball Tournament begins today.

Eight years ago, Dean was killed in a car accident, and as a way to honor who she was and what she meant to the community, the SHS softball program started a softball tournament in her memory a year later.

“I think it’s something that’s meant a lot to the girls in the past and continues to do so,” SHS coach Trent Taylor said. “I think it’s been said for several years that Kirsten, as a young lady and a member of the softball team as an eighth grader, she was just one of those kinds of people with a great personality.

“It was such that everybody knew her and thought the world of her,” he said.

The tournament format is in pool play for the first two days and then it will transition to a single elimination format on Saturday.

In Pool A, the host team will compete with rival Andalusia and Kinston. The teams in Pool B are Pleasant Home, Red Level and Opp.

Today’s pool play games are:

• Straughn vs. Kinston, 4 p.m.

• Kinston vs. Andalusia, 6 p.m.

• Straughn vs. Andalusia, 8 p.m.

Friday’s pool play games are:

• Opp vs. Red Level, 4 p.m.

• Red Level vs. Pleasant Home, 6 p.m.

• Pleasant Home vs. Opp, 8 p.m.

The single elimination portion will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with the No. 2 seed in Pool B playing the No. 3 seed in Pool A. Then at noon, the No. 2 seed in Pool A will face the No. 3 seed in Pool B.

The No. 1 seeds from both pools will automatically play in the semifinals of Saturday’s tournament play. The championship is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday.

Taylor said the tournament’s always been a “big deal” for the players, “and the student body.”

“A lot of places have them (tournaments) for fundraisers and obviously that’s a big part of it,” he said. “Because of who the tournament’s named after, it means more than that to our community.”

Admission is $5 per person per day.