FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Pitching coach Lauren Sharp, right, helps Gabby Garcia, left, with her pitching form during softball practice for the Bobby Sox, June 26, 2014, at Allan Witt Park in Fairfield. (Steve Reczkowski/Daily Republic)

Sports

Bobby Sox teams ready for All-Star play

By From page B7 | June 27, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Many Bobby Sox players, family and friends will be making a weekend stay in Fairfield – and not just to enjoy the Delta Breeze.

The 2014 Bobby Sox Softball District All-Star Tournament will be held at Allan Witt Park, beginning Saturday and concluding Sunday.

Four different fields – or diamonds – will be the home or away destination for hundreds of young ladies, ranging from the 6-under division to the 18-under division.

For some teams, practices started just a week ago, and for others, the tournament atmosphere is nothing new for the nerves.

For the “Fairfield Breeze”, Fairfield’s 10-under team, this will be the team’s first time playing in a tournament together, says manager Michele Burns.

“The team has come together well,” Burns said. “We have a good group of kids and are ready to play. “These kids have put in their work, even in the heat. They are working hard and don’t stop.”

Burns’ 10-under team has players raging in the age group from eight to 11 years old.

Besides a bigger fan-base, one of the upsides of having a hometown tournament is not having to travel.

As 6-under manager Sarah Banks put it, “Young children don’t always have the patience to travel, so being in our backyard is going to make it that much more fun.”

Banks added that having a home crowd behind you is nice, but also adds that much more pressure.

“So, we have to represent,” she added with a laugh.

Because of the range of age levels in the tournament, some teams will be experiencing new rules and a whole new way to play the game.

Manager of the 8-under team, Leony Spears, says her squad has been working not only on defense and hitting, but stealing.

“Stealing is important because 8-under is the first year players are able to steal and that is a big part of playing the game,” Spears said.

Spears also expects the stands to be packed, saying more family and friends will come down to supports the local teams.

Besides Fairfield, teams from Vacaville, Salinas, Rio Linda and Milpitas will be competing in the tournament.

The 6-under team will first play at 10 a.m. against Salinas on Diamond No. 3, with the winner playing Vacaville at noon on the same diamond.

Fairfield will take on Vacaville in the 8-under bracket on Diamond No. 1 at 2 p.m. The 10-under team will start at 10 a.m. against Vacaville on Diamond No. 4.

Fairfield’s 12-under team will play Salinas at 10 a.m. on Diamond No. 2., while the 14-under team will play Milpitas on Diamond No. 1 at noon.

The Regional tournament will be held in Salinas July 10-13 and Nationals will be July 24-29 in Huntington Beach.

Marcus Lomtong

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