One of the largest and deepest local high school softball tournaments in the state will fire up again next weekend as Gordon Lee High School will host its annual SCORE International Invitational at Chattanooga's Warner Park.
Sixteen teams are in this year's field, including four defending state champions and two state runner-ups from a season ago. Half the field is currently ranked in the Top 10 of its respective classifications.
Host Gordon Lee has won three consecutive state titles in Class A, while Dade County (Class AA), Northwest Whitfield (Class AAAA), and Union Grove (Class AAAAA) also won GHSA state championships last season. Prince Avenue Christian (Class A private) and Ringgold (Class AAA) finished last season as runners-up in Columbus.
Gordon Lee and Northwest Whitfield are currently ranked No. 1, while Prince Avenue and Ringgold are ranked No. 2. Dade County is No. 8 and Union Grove is No. 10 in the latest polls, while other ranked teams scheduled to participate include Calhoun (No. 6, Class AA) and Darlington (No. 10, Class A).
The rest of the field features North Murray, Woodland, Chattooga, Dalton, Murray County, LaFayette, Lovett, and Cass.
Games begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13 and play will resume at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Friday, Sept. 13 Schedule
4 p.m. - Calhoun vs. North Murray (F1), Gordon Lee vs. Woodland (F2), Dalton vs. Murray County (F3), LaFayette vs. Dade County (F4), Ringgold vs. Darlington (F5)
6 p.m. - Prince Avenue vs. Northwest (F1), Chattooga vs. Woodland (F2), Ringgold vs. LaFayette (F3), Dalton vs. Lovett (F4), Cass vs. Darlington (F5)
8 p.m. - Calhoun vs. Northwest (F1), Gordon Lee vs. Chattooga (F2), Dade County vs. North Murray (F3), Prince Avenue vs. Murray County (F4), Lovett vs. Cass (F5)
Saturday, Sept. 14 Schedule
9 a.m. - Darlington vs. Woodland (F1), Gordon Lee vs. Dalton (F2), Northwest vs. Chattooga (F3), Calhoun vs. Lovett (F4), Ringgold vs. Prince Avenue (F5)
11 a.m. - Union Grove vs. Ringgold (F1), Gordon Lee vs. Murray County (F2), Cass vs. North Murray (F3), Dade County vs. Dalton (F4), Northwest vs. Woodland (F5)
1 p.m. - Calhoun vs. Darlington (F1), Cass vs. Chattooga (F2), Lovett vs. Dade County (F3), North Murray vs. Prince Avenue (F4)
3 p.m. - Union Grove vs. Northwest (F1), Gordon Lee vs. Lovett (F2), Dalton vs. LaFayette (F3), Darlington vs. Murray County (F4), Ringgold vs. Woodland (F5)
5 p.m. - Calhoun vs. Cass (F1), Gordon Lee vs. Union Grove (F2), Dade County vs. Prince Avenue (F3), LaFayette vs. Murray County (F4), Northwest vs. Chattooga (F5)