The Tennessee Fury will be holding their seventh Scenic City Showcase youth fastpitch tournament at three local complexes over the next four days.
Games in 14-, 16- and 18-under age groups begin this morning at 8 at Warner Park, The Summit of Softball and the Jack Mattox Complex in Ringgold.
Tournament official Pat Moyer said 180 teams representing 19 states will take part in the competition, which is scheduled to conclude Sunday afternoon with championship games at Warner Park expected to start about 4:30. Most of the teams are in the 14- and 16-under divisions, which is why more than 100 college coaches preregistered to attend.
"It's all for these college coaches so they can go see multiple players at a competitive event, look over the talent and see if it's a good fit," Moyer said.
Some college coaches participated Wednesday in a connect camp, where some athletes received personalized instruction at the Fury's indoor facility.
Vann Stuedeman spent 11 years as pitching coach at the University of Alabama before being hired as head coach at Mississippi State in the summer of 2011 and has regularly attended the Fury's Showcases over the last four years. She likens the talent pool to that of the Amateur Softball Association's national tournaments but on a regional scale.
"They draw a lot of quality teams," Stuedeman said. "All of the teams are exceptional with incredible players. Definitely the draw for college coaches is that almost every game you're going to see quality athletes in action.
"Most of these teams will have qualified for an ASA national."
The Showcases are held twice a year. The next is set for Nov. 1-3.
Admission for the Scenic City Showcase is $7 per day or $20 for a four-day pass. Seniors can attend for $5 per day or $15 for the four-day pass.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.