Perennial playoff teams on display at softball tournament
By BY WILL BROWN - WBROWN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 12, 2013 at 8:13 p.m.
The Crossroads Classic softball tournament is a chance for teams to gain experience and maybe a trophy in the process.
That is how Victoria East head coach Lee Price described the eight-team tournament that begins Thursday at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex.
Victoria's three biggest softball programs, East, West and St. Joseph, will all take the field during this three-day, round-robin tournament. The five other schools should provide different challenges for that trio.
"We're getting primed up for district," Price said. "I want our girls to get some games in and get some experience. I am hoping we play some good ball, and I'll be satisfied."
East will enter the tournament 1-0 after beating the Lady Flyers on Monday night in its opener. The two will meet again Friday morning at 9 a.m.
However, both schools have more pressing worries Thursday.
The Titans face reigning District 28-3A champion Pleasanton on Thursday morning, while the Lady Flyers have Goliad and East Bernard on the horizon.
"It's hard to get people to come here when you have Corpus (Christi), Austin, San Antonio and Houston all throwing tournaments the same weekend," Price said. "I am happy with the field we have. It's a good first tournament because most coaches are eager to get some games in."
In a perfect world, the participants would play with a full roster. But, East Bernard, Goliad, Yoakum and St. Joseph all have girls with playoff basketball commitments.
Rudy Diaz, one of St. Joseph's head coaches, said playing schools that qualified for the UIL playoffs last spring will help his girls as they prepare for life in TAPPS District 3-4A play. Victoria East, Victoria West, Goliad, Pleasanton and East Bernard were all playoff teams last year.
"Playing these strong schools from the area will help us in the long run," Diaz said after Monday's loss to East. "I cannot wait for our basketball girls to come help us. We have a lot of ninth-graders on the varsity, and I can see that they are getting a little more confidence. I just need to find out who are the starters and we'll take it from there."