Wednesday was a day full of action for those Columbus fans who can never get enough softball.
Slushies and ice cold drinks were hard at work trying to keep players and fans cool while the USSSA Fastpitch National tournament pool play games kicked off. Games are being played at Ceraland, Clifty Park, Dunn Stadium, Lincoln Park and Edinburgh Sports Complex.
“I think this is wonderful,” said Sabrina Boroughs, who’s daughter Jacqueline plays for the Red-Alert Fish team. “We’re loving it. I think it’s set up just right.”
Columbus had five total teams in three of the seven divisions, and Indiana Hustle-Nading represented Hope. Indiana Hustle-Nading lost it’s first game 13-0, but battled Columbus-based Southern Indiana Impact in the its second game of the 18-and-under-open division.
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Indiana Hustle-Nading still fell one run short in a 6-5 loss. Southern Indiana ended Wednesday with a 1-1 record after falling 9-4 in its first game.
Indiana Hustle-Nading coach Mike Nading said playing in national tournaments like the USSSA Fastpitch is good for his youth players’ development.
“It’s very important,” Nading said. “The more we play, the better we get. That’s what we need. I love (the tournament) — a six game guarantee and the weather is beautiful.”
The two undefeated local teams after the the first two games are Red Alert, playing in the 14U-B division, and Red Alert-Davidson in the 10U-C division. Indiana Red Alert 10U-Stogsdill is also in the 10U-C division, and it beat Red-Alert Fish in its second game to end the first day with a 1-1 record. Red Alert-Fish, which is 0-2, actually is an 8-and-under team that is playing up for the tournament.
Columbus North sophomore Meghan Waggoner, who is pitching for Southern Indiana Impact, said playing in the national tournament is good for her in preparation for the high school season.
“It’s not much as winning important, but getting me out on the mound and getting pitching time so I can get better,” Waggoner said.
Pool play will resume at 8 a.m. today, and the double-elimination bracket competition will begin this afternoon. Play continues through the finals on Sunday.
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Southern Indiana Impact: 1-1
Indiana Hustle-Nading: 0-2
Red Alert 2-0
Indiana Red Alert 10U-Stogsdill: 1-1
Red Alert Davidson: 2-0
Red Alert-Fish: 0-2