Softball Tournament Draws Crowds of Thousands

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

It's a grand slammer for players across the country, 200 teams coming out to Panama City Beach to celebrate the annual USFA, or United States Fast Pitch Association.

This association has become a nationally renown organization, sanctioning thousands of teams across the United States and Canada.

Some believe this event fosters more than just fellowship and fun.

Steve Chamblee, Athletic Director for PCB, said, "A lot of these girls start off, seven, eight years old and some continue on through college, the more gifted ones, so it's good for them to get out here and do this."

But most of the girls just enjoy the big baseball spirit it brings to the beach.

Tara Cole, a player from Alabama, said, "I just think it's good for kids to come out here and get active, stay healthy and run and have fun."

This event brings in anywhere from $5 to $10 million per event to the local economy, and next week's weeklong events will do the same, but besides the road trip, hotel stay, and beach atmosphere, these girls’ favorite part is just playing in the ole ball game.

Melinda Patterson from Tennessee said, "I guess I would have to say that what we like the most is the heat and the good competition. We're very competitive people and we like having competition."

Heat and good competition are two things that are pretty much guaranteed this week. If you are interested in finding more information on these softball tournaments, you can log onto www.usfastpitch.com.


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