Hardball and softball fill fields this weekend

A Winter Haven softball team takes on the Tournament of Champions while Southeastern University brings the best in NAIA baseball to town

WINTER HAVEN – While more than 80 softball teams from around the world will be playing throughout Polk County in the coming weeks, only one – the FL Mustangs – can claim home field advantage.

Comprised of players from throughout the Central Florida area, the Mustangs will be taking on 13 different Men’s 65 teams in one bracket of the Senior Softball Tournament of Champions. While the All-Star Game will be played at the Diamondplex in Winter Haven on Wednesday night, the tournament will four different complexes throughout the county.

A pitcher throws to a batter during RussMatt

Meanwhile, on the baseball diamond, four of the top eight ranked NAIA baseball teams in the nation clash in Polk County this week.

Dubbed the East/West Challenge, games will be held at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park as well as on the Southeastern campus starting Thursday, Feb. 2 and wrapping up Saturday, Feb. 4. Teams involved with be top ranked Southeastern, second ranked Lewis-Clark State, fourth ranked LSU Shreveport, eighth ranked St. Thomas. Rounding out the list are 16th ranked Vanguard University, 25th ranked Keiser University, and unranked Arizona Christian and Benedictine Mesa.

The crown jewel of senior softball, the Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA) Original Tournament of Champions (TOC), enters its 17th year in 2023, pitting the best of the best on the soft

Older adult swings at softball

ball diamonds. For a complete listing of events, teams and times, go to

To track all the teams involed in the East West Challenge, go to