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State championships coming to Effingham
ECRP will host two GRPA state tournaments this week
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The Effingham County Recreation and Parks Department is hosting two Georgia Parks and Recreation Association state championships.

The Senior baseball crown and the Mite live pitch softball crown will be decided at Effingham County High School in Springfield on Saturday.

The baseball action starts Wednesday with softball beginning Thursday.

A tournament pass is $7, while single-game tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for students. Guests over 60 years old and under 5 years old are admitted free.

ECRP Assistant Director David Wooten said this is the time for the recreation department and county to shine.
“We always want to present the best possible side of Effingham County,” he said. “We want our guests to see the best of our facilities, the best of our hospitality and have a good experience.”

Wooten admits putting on a state tournament is extra work, but he doesn’t mind it. This is the third consecutive year that the ECRP has hosted the Senior baseball tournament.

“It’s not an ordinary 8-5 day. There will be some 14-hour days involved,” he said. “We’ll be out there making sure the fields are appropriate for play and everyone is accommodated the best they can be.

“A lot of things go into it, but if you work in recreation, then it’s part of your job and you do the best you can for the people who come out and play.”

Eight teams will compete in baseball and five teams compete in softball. The format is double-elimination.
Wooten estimated that the county would have an additional 150 to 300 visitors.

Wooten said he is appreciative of Effingham County High School’s support in letting the ECRP use the baseball and softball fields.

“Principal Yancy Ford and before him Randy Shearhouse, baseball coach Brett Griffin, athletic director Tim Hood and softball coach Tesh Wiewel have been kind to us and very accommodating,” Wooten said. “We have a great working relationship.”

Wooten said the ECRP likes to play the state tournament at the high school because of the nicer playing surface.
Baseball teams include Richmond Hill, Metter, Warner Robins, Baldwin County, Haralson, Fitzgerald and Effingham County.

Effingham plays Richmond Hill at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. If Effingham wins, they play at 3 p.m. Thursday. If the lose, they play at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The championship is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with the “if” game at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Softball teams include Effingham County, Baldwin County, Jackson County, Gilmer County and Thomaston-Upson County.

Effingham plays Baldwin at 4 p.m. Thursday. If Effingham wins, they play at 10 a.m. Friday. If they lose, they play at noon Friday.

The championship is slated for noon Saturday, with the “if” game at 2 p.m. Saturday.