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The fourth annual Lancaster County Classic Softball tournament opens tonight with games at two county sites.
The tournament opener is set for 5 p.m. today – Wednesday, Feb. 27 – when host Andrew Jackson will face the Lady Bruins of Lancaster High School.
Play shifts to Buford High School at 6:40 p.m. when the BHS Lady Jackets battle Indian Land.
All four games feature teams which saw postseason play last spring.
AJ, 25-5 last season, is ranked third in the Class AA softball preseason rankings.
Lancaster, which came on strong last season after a banner showing in the prestigious Azalea Invitational in Summerville, captured a district championship and played in the Class AAAA Upstate championship series.
Buford, rated in a tie for third in the Class AA preseason softball poll, was a district runner-up last season as was Indian Land.
On Thursday night, Feb. 28, action returns to the AJ where Lancaster battles AJ in jayvee action at 4:40 p.m.
Host AJ meets Central of Pageland at 6:10 and Lancaster faces Central at 7:30 in varsity play.
At Northwestern High in Rock Hill on Thursday, host NWHS meets Chester at 4:40 p.m. Buford battles Chester at 6:10 and Buford faces Northwestern at 7:10.
On Friday night, play moves to the Lancaster High School field where play opens with Central meeting Rock Hill at 5 p.m.
Host Lancaster takes on Union County at 6:20 p.m. and AJ meets Union County at 7:30.
At Indian Land, the host Lady Warriors play Chester at 5 p.m. on Friday and Clover battles Chester at 6:30. The IL Lady Warriors meet Clover at 7:30.
All action continues on Saturday, March 2 at the Springdale Recreation Complex.
Pool play games have AJ playing at 11 a.m., Buford at 12:15 p.m., Indian Land at 12:15 and Lancaster waiting for its seeding game Saturday afternoon.
On the junior varsity side, all action takes places Friday, March 1 at the Buford High School field at BHS an the Buford Recreation field.
On the BHS field, Buford and the Indian Land jayvees play at 4:45 p.m. Central and Buford meet at 6:15 and Indian Land plays Central at 7:30. On the Buford recreation field, Lancaster and Northwestern play at 4:45 p.m., with Fort Mill facing Northwestern at 6:15. AJ meets Fort Mill at 7:30.
All the junior varsity tournament action moves to the Springdale Park Complex on Saturday with games starting at 9:30 a.m.
Both the championship games – varsity and junior varsity – are slated to begin at 4:15 p.m.
Admission is $5 each day and tournament passes can be purchased Wednesday and Thursday for $10 each.
Concessions will be sold by the host schools’ softball parents and booster club.
“This tournament is a great way to kick off the high school softball seasons for the junior varsity and varsity teams and we’re hoping for good weather,” said tournament organizer Steve Middleton.
Middleton said he’s grateful to the Lancaster County Recreation Department for letting the games be played at the Springdale Park Complex on Saturday, March 2.
“We appreciate the help of the Lancaster County Recreation Department,” Middleton said. “There is some great talent in our county every year and people in the state recognize our county for that. Come out and support your favorite team and enjoy some of the finest softball action around.”
The tournament is sponsored by Founders Federal Credit Union and H&H Chevrolet.
The other tourney sponsors include Thaxton Insurance, Kershaw Hardware, Kevin Robinson Heating and Cooling, Lynches River Electric Co-Op