Men’s state softball tourney set for Prospect Meadows
August 12, 2021 | Metro Sports Report
Prospect Meadows has become well-known for its youth baseball and softball events ever since the doors opened in 2019, but men’s softball will take center stage here this weekend.
The 2021 Men’s 14-inch State Slow Pitch Softball Tournament will be held this Saturday and Sunday, with 24 teams playing 64 games. Daily ticket pricing for the event is $7 for adults and $5 for military, seniors, and youth. Weekend passes are available for $12.
The annual tournament made its debut at Prospect Meadows last August, but the event had to be postponed for two weeks due to damage caused by the derecho.
The men’s 14-inch state tournament is restricted to 24 teams. Tom Topping, the tournament director from USA Softball, said there was a waiting list to enter this year.
“We did fill it up,” he said. “It’s a very popular tournament. It’s probably one of our best tournaments for adult teams that we have.”
The tournament will be held on the four lighted fields in the Perfect Game quad at Prospect Meadows. There will be 40 games Saturday, with
10 games on each field starting at 9 a.m.
The first championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday in the double-elimination tournament. A second championship game, if necessary, would be held at 5:10 p.m. Sunday.
Each team will play at least four games in either the Major, “A” or “B” divisions. Some teams will play five or six times in two days.
Topping is glad his organization moved the tournament to Prospect Meadows.
“As you know, it’s a beautiful complex,” he said. “The teams loved it last year. You really get true bounces. And with no maintenance, the games run on time. So it really works well.”
Topping said the 14-inch game combines some of the best elements of 12-inch softball and 16-inch softball. It’s still a power game, but with an element of finesse.
Pitchers can use a pump-fake to try and pick runners off base. Runners can get a lead, but cannot steal. The hit-and-run is a big part of the overall strategy.
The tournament attracts teams from all over the state, with a heavy mix of clubs from Cedar Rapids, Marion and surrounding towns.
“There’s a great complement of teams from around the area. A lot of them are from small towns,” said Topping, noting teams from Tiffin, Ely, Fairfax and Walford. “It’s a good family-oriented game,” he said