DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Dothan Diamond classic is in full swing and girls are so excited to be playing in the tournament again after it was cancelled last year because of COVID-19.
Twenty local high schools are competing in the biggest high school softball tournament in the Wiregrass. Single elimination play started Friday at Westgate Softball Complex.
Proceeds from sponsorships and gate entry sales are given to the schools for their athletic programs, and how a team performs in the tournament determines how much money they go home with.
Coaches say the money is greatly appreciated and needed.
“Softball is one of those sports that fundraising is pretty much the way we fund everything we do,” said Dale County High School Head Softball Coach Nicole Dutton. “So this little extra is just something else that I don’t have to require my players to go out and work for.”
The first round of pool play was on Tuesday. The second round was rained out Thursday so teams were put into a single elimination bracket based on their Tuesday performance.
Games were limited to 90 minutes on Friday to be sure that the final four are determined by Friday night in case of weekend storms.
“Been doing a lot of praying about the weather and I do mean a whole lot,” said Dothan Diamond Classic Tournament director Rhonda Kirk. “Because we really want these kids to participate and we really want to give the community’s money back to the schools. The community has been outstanding to us. They’ve given and given and given and we want to be able to give that back.”
Kirk says they really want to be able to play a championship game so they don’t have to determine a winner based on previous stats. But no matter how the tournament ends, players are elated to simply be playing.
“I’m very excited,” said Ariton High School senior Caroline Hughes, “I’m very sad it’s my last year. I’ve shed a few tears over it. Its been a very rewarding experience, this is the closest team we’ve had since I’ve been on the team.”
The Kasey Cooper Home Run Derby, the semi finals, championship and consolation game are planned for Saturday but that may change because of rain.