Crossroads softball tournament starts today

Local softball lovers will find themselves close to nirvana starting today.Thirty teams from across West Texas, including the host Big Spring Lady Steers and the Forsan Lady Buffaloes, will converge on the Roy Anderson Complex for the three-day Tournament At The Crossroads, which runs through Saturday.The Lady Steers (5-5) will open play in Pool C, along with Alpine, Jim Ned, Fort Stockton, Odessa Permian and Lubbock Estacado. Forsan will play in Pool B, which also includes Andrews, Midland Lee junior varsity, Levelland, Hawley and Odessa.Other teams which will participate include:• Pool A — Clyde, Sweetwater, Lubbock Cooper, Midland Christian, Monahans and San Angelo Central.• Pool D — Colorado City, Breckenridge, Odessa High School junior varsity, Lamesa, Snyder and Westbrook.• Pool E — Permian JV, Monahans, JV, Levelland JV, Midland JV, Andrews JV and a team to be announced.Pool play will be held Thursday. Games will be limited to 55 minutes (or four complete innings). Friday's “mini-bracket” games will be 80 minutes, with a 10-run mercy rule after five innings (or 15 runs after three innings) in effect. Those game rules will also be applicable for Saturday's championship bracket play.Big Spring was scheduled to face Permian at 8 a.m. today, followed by Estacado at 11:45 a.m. and Fort Stockton at 2:15 p.m.BSHS Head Coach John Sparks said the tournament will be a great way for teams to face a wide variety of opponents.“Everybody will get a lot of playing time and that's particularly important this time of year,” Sparks said. “Teams will be able to find the people who will really be able to contribute when district play starts later in the season.”Teams won't be the only beneficiaries, Sparks added.“It will be a great weekend for softball in West Texas,” he added. “The city has built a complex here that is just fabulous. All the coaches I've talked to have been very complimentary of it.”