The 21st annual Molly/Abbie Softball Tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at Winchester City Park in memory of two Franklin County High School seniors who passed away in 2000.
The now-yearly event began in 2000 after Molly Stewart and Abbie Bondurant tragically passed away in a boating accident on Tims Ford Lake on May 12, 2000.
Winchester Recreation Director Darrell Jolley has helped to put on the event each year since its inception.
“They wanted to do something to honor those young ladies, and so we came up with this softball tournament,” Jolley said. “It was really something to get people in the community together to celebrate their lives.”
The event will feature a competitive bracket and a fun bracket to give teams options in the event.
The fun division is intended for teams of players who don’t normally play league softball to give them a chance to raise money at the event.
“The fun division is, more or less, for families who want to come out and celebrate Molly and Abbie,” Jolley said. “That’s what the event started out as.”
Each team for the fun division must consist of five boys and five girls. Bats and balls will be furnished for teams in the fun division.
The competitive division was added in later years to give more seasoned competitors a chance to play against similar competition. Competitive teams must have at least three girls on their team of 10.
Entry into the tournament costs $200 per team with all proceeds going to the FCHS softball team. The softball team also assists in the event by volunteering for needed positions.
“They come and they’ll do the umpiring and run the gate,” Jolley said. “They’ll supply some players who need girls for a team here and there.”
In addition to the team fees, participants and spectators at the event will be able to donate money and buy concessions to further support the team.
Registration for either division can be done at softballwire.com or by calling Darrell Jolley at 931-308-7653 or Josh Nickerson at 931-636-1972. Registration can also be done by calling Gina Sherrill at 931-636-0653 or Christy Rogers at 931-308-9531.
The tournament will begin at Winchester City Park on Friday with action continuing into Saturday. Plaques will be awarded for first and second place in each division.