SIKESTON -- Regional softball tournaments are once again returning to Sikeston.
The 2011 Babe Ruth 14U and 16U Midwest Plains Regional softball tournaments will be held next week at the Sikeston Sports Complex, marking the second-straight year that the Sikeston Area Youth Baseball League has hosted softball regionals.
This year, 13 teams from Colorado, Kansas and Missouri will compete in this year's tournament, including Sikeston's 14U team and Sikeston's 16U team that won the state championship this year.
"We are very excited to hold this tournament again," said tournament director, Glen Cantrell. "It will be a good chance for area softball fans to see some of the best teams in the nation."
The tournament starts on Wednesday with the opening ceremony slated to start at 7:15 p.m. on the Sikeston High School softball field. Immediately following the opening ceremony, the two Sikeston host teams will play their first games. The tournament goes into full swing on Thursday at 9 a.m.
The teams in both age divisions will have pool play then move into a bracket double-elimination tournament starting Friday. Championship games will be played on Sunday.
This is the second year in-a-row that Sikeston has hosted a large regional tournament and Cantrell hopes more will come. "Having the tournaments here is great for our girls, because it guarantees them the opportunity to play against great competition," Cantrell said. "The more we are able to play a higher level of competition, the better our girls will be. So I hope that we continue to try to bring this kind of tournament to Sikeston."
Many volunteers are needed to put the regionals together and while Cantrell said there have been many who have helped, many more are needed. "Right now we need host families, people who don't mind opening their homes to these girls and basically being their parents for the week," said Cantrell.
Volunteers are also needed to help with field prep and other tasks. If you're interested in helping, you can contact Cantrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.