Northeast softball opens home season during Tigerfest

Northeast Mississippi Community College softball program’s TigerFest Tournament has always brought in some of the nation’s elite to Booneville.
Northeast’s 2011 edition of the TigerFest is no different with 10 teams descending upon the City of Hospitality on Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26 for the tournament at Booneville City Park.
Northeast head softball coach Jody Long welcomes nine other teams to Booneville City Park with five of those squads hailing from outside the Magnolia State.
Northwest-Shoals from Phil Campbell, Ala., is Alabama’s lone representative in the tournament this year while Illinois puts a pair of teams into the tournament.
Indian Hills and John A. Logan community colleges both have agreed to be a part of the 2011 version of the TigerFest.
Three Rivers out of Missouri as well as Southwest Tennessee from Memphis, Tenn., join Northwest Mississippi, East Central, Itawamba and Copiah-Lincoln in rounding out the 10-team affair.
Long has made a change to the tournament’s set up following the reduction in the amount of games teams can play during the season.
Instead of playing a round-robin format to open the tournament and kicking into a single-elimination affair, each team is guaranteed five games in the 2011 TigerFest.
With that change, Booneville City Park becomes a hub of activity with 25 games being played on three fields over a two-day span.
Northeast, which has already knocked of the 2009 and 2010 National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division II national champions in Heartland Community College and Muskegon (Mich.) Community College, opens the tournament against Northwest-Shoals (Ala.) at 1 p.m. on Friday, February 25 before taking on Indian Hills (Ill.) at 5 p.m.
Northeast and Northwest-Shoals’ game will be the only game played at the 1 p.m. block at Booneville City Park on Friday with Field 2 and 3 seeing a flurry of activity starting at 3 p.m.
Northeast and Northwest-Shoals’ contest will also serve as the 2011 home opener for the Lady Tigers. Prior to the TigerFest, Northeast opened the season with two two-day tournaments at the Patriot Bash in Phil Campbell, Ala., and at the Rush Invitational in Meridan.
Saturday sees the most action at Booneville City Park as all three fields are filledfrom 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with five games on each field for 15 of the tournament’s 25 games.
Northeast faces John A. Logan (Ill.) at noon on Saturday before wrapping up the tournament against Three Rivers (Mo.) and Southwest Tenn. at 4 and 6 p.m., respectively.