Delay of Games – First day of Pennsbury Invitational rained out
– 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.
Pennsbury Gems alum Kate Poppe rakes a field at the Fred Allan complex Friday morning in preparation for the Pennsbury Invitational Softball Tournament
Pennsbury Invitational Softball Tournament directors Les Venella, left, and Joe Parell have been managing the event for the last 13 years.