OTTUMWA – Upwards of 90 games among 33 teams played on five diamonds over three days with three champions left standing.
Stack the numbers up however you want, but there’s no denying that this is going to be one incredibly busy weekend of youth softball in the City of Bridges. The USSSA Eastern Iowa "C" State youth softball tournament will bring over 450 young softball players in age divisions of 10-and-under, 12-and-under and 14-and-under to compete for qualifying berths in next month’s USSSA World Series tournaments.
According to tournament director Robert Greiner, Ottumwa should come out as the biggest winners of this weekend even without one of the four city teams claiming one of the three state titles.
“The hotels will be sold out. The McDonald's will be sold out. Pizza Hut will be sold out. Subway’s going to be packed,” Greiner said. “It’s going to bring a lot of money to the community. It’s not just the 450 young ladies that are playing here, but it’s also the families that are coming out to watch their daughters and sisters play in the tournament as well.”
“There really are not a lot of towns that do this much with USSSA. This is third year Ottumwa has done something like this. I think it’s been pretty successful for us in the past.”
All the action gets under way on Friday night, when all four Ottumwa teams will be opening play in the three different divisions over the opening six games of pool play competition. Among the first games to be played at 6 p.m. on Friday will include the Ottumwa Dynamite, who are looking to qualify for the 10-and-under, opening play on diamond three against the Albia ‘Dirt Demons’ while Ottumwa’s two 12U teams meet as the ‘Rampage’ and ‘Khoas’ meet on Field 5.