Savannah Ames catches a sliding player going for second. PHOTOS BY DAN FOX
By DAN FOX
With the midpoint of the season and the International Softball Tournament behind it, Skagway’s local Softball League has eyes on a fast-approaching home plate and a number of events occurring later in the month of July.
League organizer Adam Smith said an open-to-the-public Home Run Derby will be held on July 21, and that the league’s finals tourney will be held Monday, July 23; Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28.
The seven teams of the league have been going cleats-to-grass since June 4. Smith said the first half of the season is used to gauge the competitiveness between teams, and the second half gets down to pairing talent for skill-based matchups.
The season is a short one, but Smith said that keeps interest high and ensures players from the teams can participate, especially before seasonal players head south or go to college.
Skagway recently hosted the annual International Softball Tournament from June 29-July 1; while not connected to the local league directly, two of the local teams played in the affair, and proceeds raised help the league operate.
A pair of umpires headed down from Canada for the tourney, and one came up from Juneau. Smith said the Canadian teams are what make the tournament happen.
“One of them [a Canadian player] told me this was her 23rd year in a row coming to Skagway for the Fourth [of July],” Smith said. “There was that year we had the landslide in the Yukon…where the tourney had to be called off because none of the Canadian teams could get down here.”
On July 14, local softball players will form a mens and womens team and head to Whitehorse for the Dustball tournament.
Smith said he played ball at the college level, and enjoys being involved in the activity again.
“It kind of helps me get my fix, because I do miss being involved in competitive, high-level baseball,” Smith said.
Anyone looking to play next year can reach out to the Skagway Softball Facebook page.
“I think people enjoy having an outlet to kind of get out away from the hustle and bustle, and get to exert some of the tourist-based frustration, and have a beer and play co-ed softball,” Smith said.