The Innisfail Minor Ball Association hosted its fifth annual Girls Softball Tournament June 14 through June 16.
Teams from Elkford, B.C., Medicine Hat and Drayton Valley and between travelled to Innisfail for the tournament which saw 68 games played in three days. Thirty-two teams that included bantams, peewees, mites and squirts participated in the tournament.
The Innisfail Indians had teams in each of the four divisions. Each team played four games. The bantam Indians won three out of four teams, earning a silver medal. The peewees won two and lost two. The squirts won one of four games and the mites also won one of four games.
“For our program, we did very well,” said Rick Blais, Innisfail Minor Ball executive. “There's a strong group of teams in this area and they performed very well. There's nothing but growing for these kids.”
Blais said this year's tournament was the first time everyone was able to complete the tournament with all teams registered and without rain delays.
“It was a huge success. We are one of the bigger tournaments in Central Alberta,” he said.
The local tournament serves as a fundraiser to support sending the girls softball teams to other tournaments and to the provincials. The local tournament is the fourth tournament the girls softball teams competed in this season, Blais said.
The peewee girls team is competing in provincials on the Canada Day long weekend in Leduc. The girls bantam team will head to Sundre for provincials two weeks later.
“It's nice that we are going to have teams going for peewees and for bantams. We're hoping next year we'll be having a squirt team going to provincials too. It's a good thing for the kids,” Blais said.
Last year, the peewees won bronze at provincials in St. Paul, Blais said. Last year, the bantams went to provincials, but lost in the round-robin.
This year, Blais said the Indians should do well.
“The peewees are a young team and I think they are going to fare well,” he said, citing a good coaching staff and team determination as reasons.
The bantam team has faced many of the teams headed to provincials earlier this season, Blais said.
“We have a strong possibility of, hopefully, bringing a medal back to Innisfail.”