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SPRING SPORTS POSTSEASON: What’s next for Coffee County Central baseball and softball

Chesnie Cox celebrates on her way to the plate Thursday, May 4, 2023 in the Lady Raiders' 17-2 win over Franklin County. -- Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

The weather certainly feels like the Spring Fling state tournament in late May.

But Coffee County spring sports still have some work to do if they want to get there.

Here is what is next for CHS Lady Raider softball and Red Raider baseball.

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CHS SOFTBALL

The Lady Raiders have their eyes set on a third consecutive state tournament appearance after going in 2021 and 2022 (finishing state runner up in 2021).

They have to get through the region and sectional first. CHS has already secured a spot in the Region 3-4A tournament by finishing top 2 in the district. They will play host to the District 6-4A championship at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night. If they win, they will host the Region 3-4A semi-finals Monday, May 15, which is a season elimination game. A win in the semi-finals Monday would put them in the region championship on May 17, which determines home or away sectional game on Friday, May 19. A win in the Friday May 19 sectional puts CHS in the TSSAA Spring Flilng.

CHS BASEBALL

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The Raider baseball team’s road to the state tournament is a bit more difficult and not as straight forward as it used to be.

For the first time in the TSSAA Spring Fling era, the region tournament has a two-day layout and the sectional is a best-of-three series instead of a winner take all showdown.

The Raiders won their district tournament Sunday. And while that helps with seeding, unfortunately, it does not help with travel. The Raiders will go to to either Walker Valley or Bradley Central – who will host the Region 3-4A tournament Friday and Saturday, May 12-13.

The Raiders will play the no. 2 seed from that tournament at 6 p.m. central on Friday. If they win that game, they will play for the region championship at 11 a.m. Saturday at the same site. If they win Saturday at 11, they will be region champions and host 2 of the possible 3 sectional games the following week.

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However, if the Raiders lose Friday, they will play at 2 p.m. Saturday in a must win game. If they win the 2 p.m. game, they will play another must win game at 5 p.m. Saturday.

If the Raiders win Friday but lose at 11 a.m. Saturday, they will play a must-win game at 5 p.m. Saturday.

In essence – they need to win two games in the region tournament before losing two games. Two losses eliminates them.

Following the region, the Raiders will be in the sectional in a best-of-three series. If they win the region and are the high seed, they will host two games in one day. If they win both games, they go to the state tournament. If they lose both games, they are eliminated, If they split, they will travel to the lower seed the next day for the deciding game 3.

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If they finish region runner-up, the sectional scenario flip-flops and they would travel for 2 games on the first day.

The sectional window for games is May 17-20 with the intent to play on back-to-back days but rain days and graduation days are built in.

Both baseball and softball state tournaments are May 23-26 in Murfreesboro.

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