Softball City is abuzz with activity this week, as some of the top women’s softball teams from throughout the western provinces get set to hit the field.
The 2015 U21 Women’s Western Canadian Softball Championships begin Thursday and are set to run at Softball City until Sunday afternoon. The event is hosted by the Cloverdale Fury, one of eight teams vying for a championship.
Other teams taking part include the North Shore Avalanche; Calgary Xtreme; Strathmore Thunder (Calgary); a regional Lower Mainland regional squad, also called Fury; the Earl Gray Heat and UK Royals – both from Saskatchewan – as well as the reigning provincial U21 champions, the Nanaimo Bomb Squad.
When it was announced back in January that the tournament would be staged in South Surrey, a men’s U21 event was also planned to run concurrently, but was later cancelled due to having a lack of teams.
Fans of softball who venture out to the park can expect to see some high-level action, said Softball BC’s chief operating officer Rick Benson, who works out of Softball City.
“These are all young women who’ve graduated from the minor-softball system, and started university or work, and now they’re just out here playing for their own enjoyment, and the level of play has typically been very high,” he said. “B.C. has always had strong teams, and now all these teams from Saskatchewan and Alberta have very strong teams every year, too.”
The tournament opens with a handful of games Thursday afternoon, while an opening ceremony is planned for the evening. All eight teams are on the field again Friday, with games beginning at 9 a.m. daily and running into the evening.
After round-robin games wrap up Saturday afternoon, playoff-round contests begin at 5 p.m. On Sunday, the championship game will be held at 1 p.m., at Softball City’s main diamond.