Tipton County will be very well represented this week in Murfreesboro when the TSSAA Spring Fling state championships get underway.
Covington and Munford baseball and Brighton softball each begin their quests for state titles on Tuesday afternoon. The Tipton-Rosemark softball team begins play in the DII-AA state tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
None of the four teams are strangers to Spring Fling, the olympic-style event that crowns state championships in baseball, softball, boys’ soccer, tennis and track and field.
Covington baseball will be making its fifth straight appearance and 13th overall. The Chargers won it all in 1999, 2006 and 2019. Munford baseball is making its seventh appearance and first since 2017. The Cougars’ lone state title came in 1991. Brighton softball, making its first appearance since 2017, has now qualified for state 10 times. TRA softball is making its eighth appearance and second straight. The Lady Rebels won it all in 2011 and 2014.
Numerous track and field athletes from Brighton, Covington and Munford will compete in the state track meet on Tuesday.
Covington and Munford baseball will be playing at state in the same classification for the first time ever in the new-look Class 3A. The way the brackets are laid out, however, the teams cannot play each other until Friday’s title game. Covington (18-13) starts off against Montgomery Central (16-18) at 6:30 p.m. at Blackman High School. Munford (25-14) takes on Upperman (27-9) at 4 p.m. at Smyrna High School.
Brighton softball (25-7) begins play at 4 p.m. agains Lincoln County (27-10). A win could mean a rematch with Lexington (45-1) in round two. Lexington, the states’ top-ranked team, beat Brighton 8-0 on April 30. The full brackets can be found here.
TRA (34-11) begins play in the four-team DII-AA bracket vs. GPS (21-8) on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Here’s how each team made it to this week’s state tournament:
After the Chargers beat Dyersburg 11-2 in last Monday’s do-or-die region semifinals, they beat Munford 7-4 on Wednesday in the region title game. Friday’s sectional game at home was a complete mismatch. Covington racked up 16 hits, including homers by Holden Warmath and Cam Tindall, in a 19-1 win to clinched the state berth.
The Cougars’ path to Murfreesboro was much more dramatic. Munford scored a run in the top of the seventh in Friday’s sectional vs. Millington at USA Stadium in a 3-2 win. Owen Geiger struck out nine and scattered seven hits over seven innings to pick up the win. In Monday’s elimination game at Dyer County, Garrett McKinney had four hits and two RBIs to lead Munford to a 10-5 win.
The Lady Cardinals cruised through the region and sectionals to get back to Murfreesboro. They routed Obion County 10-2 on Monday and took out Dyer County 3-1 on Wednesday to take the region title. Friday’s sectional game vs. Bolton was not competitive as Brighton scored 15 runs in the first inning and six more in the second to end the game. Brie Howard and Adin Shelton each homered for the Lady Cards and Katelyn Jones pitched a three-inning no-hitter.
The Lady Rebels hosted a best-of-three substate series Friday against Father Ryan. Only two games were necessary as the Lady Rebels swept the visitors 7-1 and 6-2 to qualify for state. Lanie Howe drove in three runs and Myah Wright singled and doubled in game one for TRA. In game two, Ryleigh Bowers singled, doubled and tripled and TRA scored three times in the sixth to blow open a close game.