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Columbia’s collegiate softball doubleheader, the Midstate Classic, is back for the eighth year on April 2, 2024. Hosted by the City of Columbia, the Midstate Classic is held annually at Ridley Sports Complex, one of the top recreational complexes in the state. This year's Midstate Classic will feature the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers facing off against the University of Memphis Tigers at 5:30 PM. Earlier that day, Columbia Central softball will play Spring Hill High School softball at 10:00 AM. Also, Columbia State Community College Lady Chargers will be playing against an opponent to be determined at 1:30 PM. Tickets to the Midstate Classic are $10.
City Manager Tony Massey stated, “The Midstate Classic has grown as an annual event since it began in 2014. We are especially excited this year to host the defending South Eastern Conference Champions and World Series participants, the UT Lady Vols, as they take on the Memphis Tigers. It’s another East Tennessee vs. West Tennessee game played right here in Middle Tennessee.”
UT and Columbia State have been participating in the Midstate Classic since 2014, making this their eighth appearance. This annual event at Ridley Sports Complex has become a staple in the community's calendar, drawing support from locals and fans across the state. It provides the opportunity for fans to experience collegiate-level softball at all ages.
“We look forward to the Midstate classic every year,” stated UT Coach Karen Weekly. Weekly went on to say, “Nobody puts the time and effort into an event quite like the City of Columbia. Both participating teams feel very special and welcomed by the entire community. Memphis will be a great opponent. I have no doubt Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro will build them into a consistent winner.”
Spearheaded each year by the City Parks and Recreation Department, this longstanding tradition not only showcases the athletic abilities of the participating teams but also fosters a sense of community spirit, making the Midstate Classic a much-anticipated annual event for residents and visitors alike. Parks and Recreation Director Mack Reagan stated, “Once again, The City of Columbia is excited to host one of the best days of softball for the coming year. The Midstate Classic is our chance to give back to our residents and provide them a chance to see an action-packed day of top-level softball.”
The City is thrilled to have the University of Memphis Tigers back this year to spearhead against the UT Lady Vols. University of Memphis Coach Stephanie VanBrakle Prothro stated, “We are super excited to participate in the Midstate Classic this year. Part of building a strong program is elevating our level of competition. The Weeklys have been influential in softball in the state of Tennessee. Karen’s program and staff are first class and coming off last year’s WCWS run will be a great opponent that I hope to keep on the schedule yearly.”
Mayor Chaz Molder stated, “I am so excited for what will be our 8th Annual Mid-State Classic in Columbia, which will, once again, bring world-class collegiate softball talent to our community. I look forward to welcoming the participants and teams to our community and am grateful that our region will have access to such high-level collegiate softball. We've seen first-hand the benefits of the Mid-State Classic in inspiring our local softball community, and I know that inspiration will only continue.”
Tickets will be available for purchase closer to date. For questions, please call (931) 388-8119.