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NC JV baseball, charity softball tournaments on deck
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With the start of the regular season still two weeks away, baseball and softball programs in the county and region are getting a jump-start on the season.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 22 at North Central High School, the inaugural Swing Away Preseason Tournament, sponsored by the Batter’s Box of Camden, for junior varsity and “B”  team baseball programs will kick off its six-day run in Boonetown.

One day later, Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Larry Doby Complex in Camden, the North Central softball program will host its annual one-day Beat Cancer with a Bat Invitational tournament.

The junior varsity baseball tourney is a “great opportunity for our younger programs to get some quality games in,” said second-year NC varsity head baseball coach Brandon Faulkenberry who also thanked the Batter’s Box of Camden, operated by former Camden High standout and Kershaw County Post 17 American Legion Post 17 head coach Stephen Carmon for sponsoring the event.

There will be two divisions with Robert E. Lee Academy, Lugoff Elgin, Buford and McBee in the Gold with North Central, Camden, Andrew Jackson and New Heights making up the Green division

Here is the schedule for the tournament:

Friday, Feb. 22: 5 p.m. - New Heights vs. Andrew Jackson; 7 p.m. - New Heights vs. North Central

Saturday, Feb. 23: 9 a.m. - Camden vs. North Central; 11 a.m. - Camden vs. Andrew Jackson; 1 p.m.  Robert E. Lee vs. McBee; 3 p.m. – Skills competition (home run derby, outfield throw, base running and catcher’s throw); 4 p.m. - Robert E. Lee vs. Buford; 6 p.m. - McBee vs. Lugoff-Elgin; 8 p.m. - Buford vs. Lugoff-Elgin

Monday, Feb. 25:  5 p.m. - New Heights vs. Camden; 7 p.m. - Andrew Jackson vs. North Central

Tuesday, Feb. 26: 5 p.m. - Robert E. Lee vs. Lugoff-Elgin; 7 p.m. - Buford vs. McBee 

Thursday, Feb. 28: 5 p.m.: Green 4 vs. Gold 4 (7th place); 7 p.m.: Green 3 vs. Gold 3 (5th place)

Friday, March 1: 5 p.m.: Green 2 vs. Gold (3rd place); 7 p.m.: Green 1 vs. Gold 1 (championship game)

Beat Cancer with a Bat: Each year, North Central High School softball coach Mike Grigsby presents the NCHS team which participates in the Kershaw County Relay for Life fundraiser to stamp out cancer with a substantial check from his program’s annual Beat Cancer with a Bat Invitational. In turn, those funds are presented to the American Cancer Society in their effort to combat the disease.

This year will be no different.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, 24 varsity softball programs will take to the fields at the Larry Doby Complex in Camden to compete in a tournament will crown four champions from eight pools in four separate divisions. The action will begin at 8 a.m. with the championship games scheduled to hit the fields at 8 p.m. 

Admission for the tournament is $10 per person which includes full-day admittance for all 40 games.

The format will have a 70-minute time limit for games. In case of a tie, the score will revert back to the previous inning. There will be a 12-run rule after three innings; a 10-run rule after four innings and an eight-run rule after five innings in effect.

Here are the four divisions, their pools and game times:

Courage Division (Field 2)

Strong Pool: Cardinal Newman, Westwood, Great Falls; Brave Pool: Lee Central, Saluda, Ben Lippen

Schedule: 8 a.m.: Westwood vs. Ben Lippen; 9:20 a.m.: Cardinal Newman vs. Great Falls; 10:40 a.m.: Saluda vs. Lee Central; 12 noon: Great Falls vs. Westwood; 1:20 p.m.: Ben Lippen vs. Saluda; 2:40 p.m.: Great Falls vs. Lee Central; 4 p.m.: Cardinal Newman vs. Westwood; 5:20 p.m.: Ben Lippen vs. Lee Central; 6:40 p.m.: Saluda vs. Cardinal Newman; 8 p.m. - championship: Strong Pool winner vs. Brave Pool winner

Hope Division (Field 4)

Believe Pool: Rock Hill, River Bluff, Lamar; Faith Pool: Brookland-Cayce, Ridge View, Northwestern

Schedule: 8 a.m.: Brookland-Cayce vs. Ridge View; 9:20 a.m.: River Bluff vs. Lamar; 10:40 a.m.: Northwestern vs. Ridge View; 12 noon: Rock Hill vs. Brookland-Cayce; 1:20 p.m.: Lamar vs. Ridge View; 2:40 p.m.: River Bluff vs. Northwestern; 4 p.m.: Rock Hill vs. Lamar; 5:20 p.m.: Brookland-Cayce vs. Northwestern; 6:40 p.m.: River Bluff vs. Rock Hill; 8 p.m. - championship: Believe Pool winner vs. Faith Pool winner

Survivor Division (Field 1)

Fighter Pool: North Central, Richland Northeast, Columbia High; Warrior Pool: Camden, Swansea, Manning

Schedule: 8 a.m.: North Central vs. RNE; 9:20 a.m.: Camden vs. Manning; 10:40 a.m.; Columbia vs. Swansea; 12 noon: Manning vs. North Central; 1:20 p.m.: Camden vs. RNE; 2:40 p.m.: North Central vs. Columbia; 4 p.m.: Swansea vs. Manning; 5:20 p.m.: Columbia vs. RNE; 6:40 p.m.: Camden vs. Swansea; 8 p.m. - championship: Fighter Pool winner vs. Warrior Pool winner

Victory Division (Field 3)

Cure Pool: Andrew Jackson, Broome, Richard Winn Academy; Heal Pool: Mid-Carolina, Lakewood, McBee

Schedule: 8 a.m.: Andrew Jackson vs. Lakewood; 9:20 a.m.: Mid-Carolina vs. McBee; 10:40 a.m.; Broome vs. Richard Winn Academy; 12 noon: Mid-Carolina vs. Lakewood; 1:20 p.m.: Andrew Jackson vs. Broome; 2:40 p.m.: Lakewood vs. McBee; 4 p.m.: Andrew Jackson vs. Richard Winn Academy; 5:20 p.m.: Mid-Carolina vs. Broome; 6:40 p.m.: Richard Winn Academy vs. McBee; 8 p.m. - championship: Cure Pool winner vs. Heal Pool winner