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Catch some of the best softball players here this week

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Where to see the 18th annual Senior Softball Western National Championships

For a schedule of games played through Sunday, visit https://seniorsoftball.com/?event=1231.

Sometimes we just have to brag about Placer County and this week is one of those times.

About 2,000 senior softball players and about 2,000-plus spectators will be on Lincoln and Roseville softball fields during this week’s 18th annual Senior Softball Western National Championships.

That’s 131 teams from 10 western states competing this week in Lincoln and Roseville.

The annual championships, from Tuesday to this Sunday, have been held here for the last six years, according to Senior Softball USA’s CEO Terry Hennessy. Games are being played at Foskett Park in Lincoln, Maidu Park in Roseville and Friday at Mahany Park in Roseville.

Senior Softball USA sanctions senior softball tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, and promotes senior softball internationally.

Senior Softball USA picked Placer County to hold the annual games for three reasons, Hennessy said. Those reasons are the area has excellent facilities with a good base of softball teams and the cities are easily accessible by airport and the highway.

We’re proud of our parks throughout South Placer and agree that the parks provide a lot of nice amenities too. We’re glad that the national organization holds these games here because it gives families more entertainment options while adding to our economy.

Amy Looney, Placer Valley Tourism’s public relations coordinator, puts the championships’ tremendous economic impact to South Placer into perspective. Placer Valley Tourism partners with Senior Softball USA to bring the games here. Placer Valley Tourism’s mission is to generate incremental room nights in hotels within Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln and, in the process, the organization recruits events.

Last year’s tournament produced nearly 1,000 room nights for local hoteliers, which in turn boosted retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in Loomis, Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville.

At least 30 teams are from Placer and Sacramento counties, according to Senior Softball USA, so spectators might even recognize their neighbors.

“There’s lots of local talent to watch. Northern California is such a hotbed,” Hennessy said, “for softball players historically. Softball is deeply embedded here.”

The games are free (refreshments are sold) and Placer County residents are encouraged to watch the games.

“Don’t let the senior in senior softball fool you. The age divisions start at 40 in both the men’s and women’s divisions and these players have been playing either softball or baseball for years,” said Amy Looney, Placer Valley Tourism public relations coordinator. “These Western National Championships promise plenty of action and trust me when I say these players come to play and they play hard. Plus there is no fee for spectators so if you’re a baseball or softball fan, come on down and watch a few games.”

This weekend’s players are among the top players in the country. And several of them are our neighbors. It’s another great way to enjoy our local parks.