The USSSA Back to School Shoot Out softball tournament, scheduled to be played throughout the day on Saturday at Citizens Park, was canceled due to persistent rain.

Games were scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and run through a 7 p.m. championship game, but the bad weather began with thunder before the first round of games could be completed.

“So much rain early this morning, we just weren’t going to be able to get the fields ready,” said Jeff Metz, City of Aiken athletic and tourism superintendent.

Metz noted that the 17 softball teams involved across four age groups had only made plans for games on Saturday. With wet weather continuing into the afternoon, the schedule would have run later into Saturday evening and on to Sunday.

Many of the teams traveling from other parts of the state didn’t want to stick around for an unplanned extra day.

“We just couldn’t make it happen,” Metz said.

Metz said he is hopeful to work with the same group on scheduling a tournament in October.

Next Saturday, the park is set to host another USSSA event, this time a youth baseball tournament.

Jeremy Timmerman has a journalism degree from Mercer University. Follow him on Twitter @ASJTimm.