YORKTON - It was a weekend dedicated to girls’ softball, and it was a huge success.
The Yorkton Crush organization hosted a tournament at its York Lake facility which attracted 25 teams, just about right on target for what spokesperson Jason Trost admitted was an ambitious first year.
“We didn’t really know what to expect putting on a tournament this size right off the bat,” he said.
But it worked out well with teams from as far afield as Swift Current and into Manitoba taking part.
“We had 25 teams, all different levels, all different ages,” he said, adding that was close to the 30 teams they had room for.
Trost said given the scale of the event they needed help running things.
“Lots of parents were helping out,” he said, adding there was “lots of energy” with the volunteers too.
Trost said in a way the tournament was well-timed because the interest in the sport is on the upswing.
“There’s lots of momentum in girls’ softball right now,” he said, adding locally the Crush numbers have inched toward 150 girls playing across all divisions.
As for the results, it was just what they had hoped for, said Trost.
“It was tons of fun. There was lots of energy, lots of smiling faces,” he said. “… Generally everybody was happy.”
The idea of keeping it fun was central, said Trost, who noted it was “a very casual… social event,” in which the goal was for the players, parents and fans all to enjoy themselves.
That joy included some ball under the lights Saturday evening for some teams.
“To get to play a game at 9:30 under the lights, for a kid that’s super exciting,” said Trost. “They feel like big leaguers when they play under the lights.”
That said, there was some fine softball played too.
Trost said age-group winning teams were all very good, in particular the U19 team from Hamiota, MB.
“They were a strong team,” he said.
A U15 team from Treaty 4, also showed well and has a pitcher which caught Trost’s eyes too.
“She was just mowing kids down at the plate,” he said.
The U13 division was topped by a team from Moosomin which will be participating in provincials as well as the U11 winning team from Swift Current.
The event was such a success the plan is to host it again in 2023.
Trost said they are planning a committee meeting already with an eye to setting the date so teams can schedule it early.
“We want to be able to spread the word a bit,” he said, adding they expect a good response. “I think every team that was here will be back. They told me as much.”