City hosts first NSA tourney

Published 11:02 pm Friday, May 29, 2009

The Sports-Plex will play host to 10 teams from all over that state today as Demopolis will see its first tournament sanctioned by the National Softball Association.

“We’ve got some pretty good teams coming from as far as Northeast Alabama,” tournament director Rod Laduron said. “There are eight 16U teams and two 14U teams.”

The tournament, which will begin with pool play at 10 a.m., is the first of what Laduron hopes will be many events in Demopolis.

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“We’re doing this for one day this time just to show folks what we have to offer,” Laduron said of the goal of gaining further exposure for the facilities at the Sports-Plex and the city of Demopolis. “This is one of the nicest parks in the state. Any kind of ball out here rally boosts Demopolis.”

Should the tournament serve one of its chief purposes in procuring future events for the City of the People, Demopolis stands to receive occasional economic boosts as most such tournament typically last for two to three days and provide a jolt to local restaurant and lodging industries.

The tournament’s format will see teams compete in pool play before heading into elimination games.

“The pool play consists of all teams,” Laduron said. “Then the 14U teams will break off and have a championship game to themselves. The 16U teams will play down to the final two. The championship game should begin around 6:30 p.m.

The event is scheduled to see four games begin simultaneously at 10 a.m. before launching four more at 11:30 a.m. At 1 p.m., the bracket is set to begin elimination play.

“Each team is guaranteed at least three games,” Laduron said.

Among the teams in the tournament are two local squads playing as part of the L.A. Thunder program.

“L.A. Thunder started several years ago,” Laduron said. “Now we actually have two teams in Demopolis and some forming in Linden.”

The two L.A. Thunder squads that will compete today consist of players from Demopolis, Butler, Linden, Camden and Grove Hill.

“What this does is gets our girls to get more competitive and get better for their schools,” Laduron said of the initiative that forms teams which travel to face some of the best competition in the state on a regular basis. “We’ve had several girls that have left this and went on to play college softball.”

Today’s tournament is slated for a 10 a.m. start time. Admission for the event is $7 for the full day.