O’Leary is ready
Senior women’s fastpitch championship tourney coming to P.E.I. in August
The potential of having several players from Canada’s Pan Am gold-medal-winning women’s softball team in O’Leary soon has organizers of the 2015 Scotiabank senior women’s national fastpitch championship tournament stoked.
Canada upset the favoured United States 4-2 in the championship game in Ajax, Ont., on Saturday.
“What Team Canada just accomplished was amazing, beating the U.S. at the Pan Am Games, and we have the chance to now host those athletes in O’Leary is something pretty special,” gushed O’Leary recreation director Jeff Ellsworth. “We have a chance to show them what O’Leary is all about.”
Ellsworth, a world tournament and Pan Am Games goldmedallist in men’s softball, is expecting many of the members of Team Canada to play for their perspective provincial teams in the seven-team national championship.
The tournament, which features a single round-robin format followed by a playoff round, will be played on O’Leary’s Ellis Field from Aug. 19 to Aug. 23.
Ellsworth and the town’s acting recreation director, Joel Rodgerson, both described Ellis Field as being in excellent condition.
All tournament games are slated to be played there, but the School Field could get some use if weather conditions cause schedule adjustments.
Island Impact, the host team for the tournament, draws players from across P.E.I., and O’Leary successfully hosted the under-16 national championship two years ago.
Organizers still need more volunteers to assist with the tournament. Anyone who can help out is encouraged to call the recreation office at (902)-8591464 or (902)-214-4456. There are several areas where volunteers can help out - gate admissions, canteen, field crew, first-aid, 50-50, team liaison and scoring.
Ellsworth predicts the tournament will provide a large economic spinoff for the area, drawing in hundreds of players, family members, officials and fans.
“Having our local female youth see the top tournament in Canada will really pique the interest of the local players, and hopefully one day they will want to play at that level as well,” he commented.
O’Leary recreation director Jeff Ellsworth left, and interim recreation director Joel Rodgerson took a tour of the town’s Ellis Field and declared it ready for the Scotiabank senior women’s national fastpitch championship. It takes place in O’Leary from Aug. 19 to 23.