Roseville becomes softball city this week

ASA 14u Western Nationals begins with thousands at opening ceremony
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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It had all the color and pageantry of an Olympic ceremony, only it was softball teams instead of nations parading into Woodcreek High School’s football stadium Monday night.

Every team carried a team sign. They wore cowboy hats and other interesting getups. The Northwest Lady Sharks of Kirkland, Wash., tossed teal beads into the crowd. Roseville Heat players were in tie-dyed shirts, Roseville Thunder players in red.

Heat player Meghan Hunt said the team went with the tie-dye look after some polka-dot shirts didn’t quite turn out as planned.

With popular music playing, 98 teams from five states marched into the stadium, along the front track and onto the field for a ceremony to begin the ASA 14u Class ‘A’ Western Nationals.

Parents sought their kids for photos. Players looked into the stands for their fans and jumped, cheered and waved when their team name was announced.
Beach balls made the rounds, knocked into the air by player after player.

When the music stopped, the home side of the stadium was filled and more than 1,000 girls and coaches were on the field.

“The girls kept coming and coming and coming,” Roseville Mayor Pauline Roccucci said. “And you look great, and I know you play better.”

This is the biggest tournament Roseville has hosted, and it more than doubles a tournament held last year. Games begin Tuesday at Mahany and Maidu parks in Roseville and Foskett Park in Lincoln and will continue all day and into the evening until the championship game at 3 p.m. Sunday at Maidu.

“I guess we couldn’t have done this at the park,” Greater Sacramento Softball Association Commissioner Jeff Dubchansky said to the crowd.

Roseville Thunder head coach Jason Adams said the tournament is great for Roseville and the players.

“There is no shortage of interest,” he said as the opening ceremony concluded. “Softball is alive and kicking.”