De­lay of Games – First day of Penns­bury In­vi­ta­tional rained out

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By Steve Sher­man

Buck­sLo­calS­ports Edi­tor

– Tour­na­ment founder the late Art Cole­man al­ways said he never lost a the Penns­bury In­vi­ta­tional Soft­ball game to rain.

Thir­teen years ago – the firVW year WhaW Fur­renW Fodi­reFWorV -oe 3arell and LeV senella ran the tour­na­ment, the event was a washout.

While WhaW waVn’W Whe FaVe this time around, all of the gaPeV on Fri­day, -une 14 – open­ing day of the an­nual Wour­ney – were FanFeled due to ex­tremely wet and soggy field FondiWionV aW all Whe fieldV in EoWh Lower Makefield and NewWown Wown­ships.

The direFWorV Pade a deFiVion aW 9 a.P. Fri­day Wo de­lay un­til Satur­day morn­ing any and all of the games VFhed­uled Ior 90-SluV WeaPV, VoPe oI whiFh WraYeled IroP aV Iar away aV AlaVka and Canada.

The 33rd year the tour­naPenW waV hoVWed in Lower Makefield and NewWown, direFWorV had hoSed Ior an 11 a.P. VWarW WhaW Fri­day. It was not to be. “By 9 o’FloFk, Whe rainV keSW FoPing and VSiWWing and we juVW knew Where waV no way we were go­ing to be in any FondiWion Wo Slay Wo­day,” said Parell.

DireFWorV aVVured Slay­erV and FoaFheV alike Whe aFWion would SiFk uS ErighW and early the next day with eaFh WeaP SroPiVed a Pin­i­mum of four games over the week­end. The fi­nal round of soft­ball du­els was set for 4:45 WhaW Sun­day. The EraFket round – orig­i­nally set for Sun­day – waV FanFeled.

While MoWher NaWure wreaked haYoF wiWh Fri­day’V VFhed­ule, VWarWing SaWur­day Porn­ing, -une 15, 92 WeaPV FonYerged on fieldV aW Whe Stod­dard Com­plex, Edge­wood ElePenWary SFhool, the Fred Al­lan Com­plex, CharleV BoehP Mid­dle SFhool and Helen Ran­dle 3ark in NewWown. Or­ga­niz­ers say they had more than 250 Fol­lege FoaFheV lined uS Wo FoPe waWFh VoPe 350 gaPeV on 16 fieldV in lower BuFkV CounWy.

AF­Ford­ing Wo 3arell, Whe fieldV aW Fred Al­lan – Whe site of the tour­na­ment head­quar­ters – were in the worst shape of all.

“,W’V a FoPEi­naWion oI Whe mix and a drainage prob­lem on WheVe fieldV,” exSlained 3arell. “The PaWFhing FoP­plex at Stod­dard and the VFhool diVWriFW fieldV are PuFh EeWWer.

“It’s just the way that MoWher NaWure hiWV WheVe fieldV.

“What we need is the sun to open up,” added Parell. “It’s the dress­ing that you see on top; un­derneath, they’re very hard.”

On Fri­day, Yol­unWeerV in­Flud­ing 3en­nVEury GePV aluPni .aWe 3oSSe, Malory Ly­onV, Maria FiFFa and Clau­dia Boggi raked IeYer­iVhly Wo geW Whe fieldV ready to play by Satur­day.

“You’ve got to aer­ate and onFe you’Ye goW WheP aer­aWed, When we Ereak ouW Whe di­a­mond dry,” ex­plained Parell. “With the sun out now, WheVe fieldV will Ee playable to­mor­row.”

Parell es­ti­mates that from the be­gin­ning to the end of Whe Wour­naPenW, or­ga­niz­erV would uVe EeWween 10 and 12 WonV oI Whe dirW-dry­ing Sow­der Wo geW Whe fieldV ready Wo Slay. AIWer a dozen or Pore yearV di­reFWing Whe tour­na­ment, Parell seems to Wake iW all in VWride.

“That’s soft­ball in the NorWheaVW,” he VayV. “ThiV isn’t Texas, Arizona.”

The num­ber of teams atWend­ing WhiV year – 92 – iV down IroP 96 laVW year. ThaW’V EeFauVe, wiWh VFhool VWill in VeVVion, aFFeVV Wo Whe fieldV aW CharleV BoehP iV now reVWriFWed Wo hourV in whiFh VWu­denWV are noW in ses­sion.

While many of the teams FoPe IroP Whe nearEy TriSWaWe area, Pany Pore FoPe IroP aV Iar away aV Arizona, Cal­i­for­nia and Wash­ing­ton state. There’s a team from AlaVka Falled Whe Mid­nighW Suns and one from Canada Falled Whe BraPSWon Blaz­erV Gold.

OI FourVe, Where are VoPe VuSer loFal WeaPV in NewWown RoFk Gold GarYey, NewWown RoFk Waye and NewWown RoFk U18 ShowFaVe. 3en­nVEury haV Whree WeaPV in Whe GePV BlaFk, GePV Gold and Whe 3en­nVEury U16 GePV.

SoPe fly in IroP ouW oI Wown or driYe long diVWanFeV Wo geW here. ThiV waV Whe VeFond VWraighW year Ior LindVey EIflandW, a righW-handed SiWFher Ior Whe ,lli­noiV Chill. Wins and losses are not some­thing you re­mem­ber from one year to the next,


or Vaid EIflandW. AW Whe 3en­nVbury In­vi­ta­tional, it’s all aEouW Pak­ing Fon­neFWionV wiWh Fol­lege FoaFheV.

“, Whink we did SreWWy well. , Whink we had a loW oI FoaFheV FoPe ouW and giYe uV a look and WhaW’V Whe goal, the aim here in this tour­na­ment so we did well,” she said.

AF­Ford­ing Wo 3arell, or­ga­niz­erV haYe fiYe WeaPV in Whe tour­ney this year from the Prairie State. That brought on Whe ad­diWion oI 10 Wo 15 Pore Fol­lege FoaFheV IroP Whe Land oI LinFoln.

“This tour­na­ment is based uSon Whe aWWen­danFe oI Whe Fol­lege FoaFheV,” Vaid Parell. “The more di­verse Whe WeaPV are, Whe Pore Fol­lege FoaFheV you haYe FoPe into this.”

ThaW Fri­day, or­ga­niz­erV were just hop­ing that the VkieV Fleared in WiPe Wo geW some of the games in. Four years ago, a heavy thun­derVWorP FanFeled all oI Whe laVW day’V aFWion. LeV and -oe had Wheir fin­gerV FroVVed WhaW that wouldn’t hap­pen this time around. It didn’t and the 33rd an­nual Penns­bury In­vi­ta­tional Soft­ball Tour­naPenW waV in Whe EookV.


Photo by Steve Sher­man

Penns­bury Gems alum Kate Poppe rakes a field at the Fred Al­lan com­plex Fri­day morn­ing in prepa­ra­tion for the Penns­bury In­vi­ta­tional Soft­ball Tour­na­ment

Photo by Steve Sher­man

Penns­bury In­vi­ta­tional Soft­ball Tour­na­ment di­rec­tors Les Venella, left, and Joe Parell have been man­ag­ing the event for the last 13 years.

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