Lady Cyclones prepping for busy start to softball season

Published 12:02 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

It’s hard to believe that in less than 30 days the first pitch of the 2017 high school softball season kicks off and for Elizabethton, all indications are that it will be a busy season for Coach Ken Hardin’s squad.

Things get kicked off with a bang as the Lady Cyclones will be hosting the Three Rivers Conference jamboree and media day on March 7th with four games on tap.
Host Elizabethton gets things started with a 4:30 p.m. first pitch against the Johnson County Lady Longhorns followed at 5:30 p.m. by the Lady Patriots of Sullivan East and Unicoi County.
Game three features the Happy Valley Lady Warriors pitted against Sullivan South at 6:30 p.m. while the nightcap has Sullivan North and the Lady Rangers of Unaka closing out the day at 7:30 p.m.
Fans can enjoy the afternoon for only $3.
Another big event in the early going is the Joey Proffit Shelter Insurance middle school softball tournament slated for Friday and Saturday, Apr. 7 and 8.
“Right now we have eight teams that have committed to playing in the middle school tournament,” said Hardin. “This will be a great opportunity for the middle schools to play in a tournament setting.”
The Lady Cyclones also will be hosting the annual Wayne Hodge State Farm Classic on Friday and Saturday, Apr. 14 and 15.
Each team entering the tournament will be guaranteed four games, and the tournament is usually played at different fields until the championship round.
The tournament has been a popular one in years past and this year looks to be a dandy as well.
Besides hosting two tournaments, the Lady Cyclones will also hit the road during the season to a tournament in Cookeville as well as the Eastman Tournament in Kingsport the last of March.
Elizabethton also travels back to Greeneville to take part in the always-competitive Tiny Day tournament toward the end of the season.
Thrown into the mix will also be games against Pigeon Forge, Science Hill, Greeneville and Gate City, VA, and the Lady Cyclones will have their work cut out for them in the new season.
“We have never shied away from competition,” added Hardin. “We always want to play the best competition so that we can improve and be ready come district and regionals.”
Elizabethton will be a contender again this season with several returning starters in the field as well as two battle-tested pitchers in Kellie Cunningham and Lauren Brickey.

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