For nine adult softball teams, Sedalia was the place to be on Saturday.
The fields at Centennial Park hosted the Amateur Softball Association Class E North State Championships on Saturday
“We have a conference each year for our board of directors,” said tournament director Terry Beas. “We bid on the tournaments. This tournament came up and none of the bigger cities wanted it so I said Sedalia will try it. This is the first time I’ve ever tried being tournament director.”
For a first time hosting, things went smoothly for Sedalia with an assist from Sedalia Parks and Recreation director Mark Hewett and his staff.
“They added dugout improvements, they made field improvements,” Beas said. “They put the fields in great shape. They wanted to make an impression on the outside teams.”
Class E is the lowest of the five classes in ASA softball in Missouri. As the Class E teams were playing in Sedalia, other tournaments were being held in Columbia and Cape Girardeau.
“This is our lowest competitive classification,” said state commissioner Joey Rich. “Class E is designed for more recreational, lower end. Now you still have a lot of league teams that can’t get into E so it’s still competitive.”
The Legends, a team from Nixa, won the tournament. One team from Sedalia, Laser Show, played in the tournament.
“It’s very convenient for a lot of us,” said Laser Show manager Brad McNeeley. “It’s good to see a bunch of different teams. We play a bunch of the guys that are all the same. We know where everyone is. This is a change of pace, really.”
“The team was just put together for this tournament but we’ve all been playing ball for seven or eight years now,” said Laser Show firstbaseman Aaron Dotson. “It’s a great past time to do.”
Dotson has played in the Sedalia Rec league for years but he said it is a nice change of pace to play in a tournament against teams from around the state.
“It’s more competitive when you go to these tournaments,” Dotson said. “Quick, agile, explosive players.”