The opening of a new softball season was set up on a tee Sunday in Albion, and the local association smacked it out of the park.
“It’s picture day, it’s exhibition games, it’s skills competitions, it’s prizes and it’s clinics for the T-ballers who are just getting started, and it was packed,” said Tom Bowen, of the Ridge Meadows Minor Softball Association.
“It stayed dry – that was the main thing.”
He said the association enters the season healthy, with full divisions and “a great group of volunteers.”
It will also get the opportunity to once again host a provincial championship tournament this season, for the under-12 B girls in July. He said Softball B.C. generally relies on Ridge to host one or two provincials each season.
“Albion is one of the nicest facilities around,” he said. “And you have to rely on the volunteer base to get it done.”
Then there are four association-run tournaments, beginning with the Ice Breaker on April 22-23 and ending with the Summer Series on June 30.
Bowen coaches the U18 Pride, who are in their final year of minor softball, and said at least eight of his 14 players will be moving on to play college ball, whether with junior colleges in the U.S., to UBC or to Douglas College.
“There a ton of opportunities at all different levels for kids looking to play,” said Bowen. “They can further their education, and be able to play ball.”
The U18 Pride will get the chance to compete at the prestigious Triple Crown World Series tournament in San Diego in July.