Play Ball!

Published 8:03 am Tuesday, July 15, 2014

AHOSKIE – After a successful first year of hosting a state tournament in 2013, the Ahoskie Parks and Recreation Department expanded that by being the proprietor of two state tournaments this summer.

The 14U Junior League Softball state tournament just concluded this past weekend, and beginning this Thursday, July 17, through Sunday July 20, the three ball fields at the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Park will be full of young baseball players ages 7-thru-12 in the Eastern Albemarle State Tournament located at 700 Lakeview Drive.

The three tournament categories will be for ages 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12.

“Ahoskie’s doing a lot of hosting this summer,” said Corey Miller of Currituck Parks & Rec. “I like that.”

The facility, dedicated in September of 2011 as part of the Ahoskie Heritage Day festivities, has hosted T-ball for 7-8 year olds and baseball and softball for ages 8-15 as part of the Ahoskie Youth League in its three-plus year history.  It is also home to several city and church softball leagues during the late summer and fall.

“I hope the community will come out this weekend and really support these kids because we’ve all worked hard to get here,” said the town’s Parks & Recreation director, Tina Pritchard.

During its first year of hosting a state tournament only four teams came to town

This year’s events have brought, or will bring, teams from Wilmington to Cape Hatteras, according to Pritchard.  That also translates as a bonus for the town’s businesses.

“When these teams of kids with their parents and supporters come here, they’re visiting our motels and patronizing our restaurants and stores,” said Pritchard. “Last year, Hatteras hosted the state Babe Ruth tournament and it pumped over $2,500 into their local economy.

“People were very complimentary of our hospitality,” she added. “It’s a nice situation for the town and I really just hope as the good word spreads that this helps us to bring in more tournaments.”

As much as Pritchard welcomes the visitors to these events, she also is hoping out for a huge turnout of local fans; especially with Ahoskie having a team in all three age brackets, and two teams in the 12U bracket.

Ahoskie is also sharing host duties with Windsor/Cashie.  They will be hosting the 13-15 year olds bracket at Davis Park located in Windsor on Roscoe Street.

“When the fans come out they’re not only going to see a great baseball game, they’re supporting our local players,” Pritchard observed.

Admission for the event will be $5 daily for adults and $3 for seniors and students.  A four-day pass will be $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Coolers, outside food and outside drinks will not be allowed since the only revenue Parks & Recreation generates during the tournament comes from the sale of concessions.

“And we’ll have plenty of concessions,” Pritchard said with a smile.