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Top Babe Ruth teams meet in three-day regional event
Frisco Fields in Chaffee will be the place for girls' softball players this weekend.
The local Heartland Babe Ruth Softball League, based in Benton, will host the Babe Ruth Midwest Plains Regional Tournament today through Sunday for 14-and-under and 12-and-under teams.
Four teams from Missouri, Colorado and Kansas will compete in the 14-and-under division while six teams from Missouri, Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota will participate in the 12-and-under division. Winners earn berths in next month's Babe Ruth World Series.
"We should have another great tournament," said tournament director Ron Schlosser, who is also president of the Heartland Babe Ruth Softball League that has hosted regional tournaments the past several years. "Babe Ruth Softball keeps getting better and better."
State champions from Missouri, Colorado and Kansas, along with the Colorado runner-up, will compete in the 14-and-under division. The 12-and-under division will consist of state champions from Missouri, Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota, along with the Colorado runner-up and a host team from the Heartland League.
Heartland League teams recently captured state titles in the 12-and-under and 14-and-under divisions, meaning the regional tournament will take on even more of a local flavor.
Teams from the Heartland League will be looking to join their 16-and-under counterparts, who captured a state title and then went on to win the regional tournament held last weekend in Kennett, in next month's national tournament.
The regional tournament will kick off with six games today at the two fields in Chaffee. There will be four 12-and-under games, at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., along with two 14-and-under contests, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Play Saturday will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue with the final game of the day at 4:30 p.m. The 12-and-under championship is set for noon Sunday, with the 14-and-under title contest at 2 p.m.
The tournament draw, which will set the pairings for the event, will be at 7:30 a.m. today. Opening ceremonies will follow at 9 a.m.