After striking out the past two seasons due to wildfires, Williams Lake Slo-Pitch League president Linda Barbondy is thrilled to once again be able to host its year-end tournament.
The tournament was cancelled in 2017 due to the wildfire evacuation, and then forced to a halt in 2018 because of smoky skies.
“We’ve got 26 teams entered and we’ve split the league in half: 13 teams in two divisions and they’ll each play two seeding games which will put them in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ or ‘D’ divisions,” Barbondy said.
Teams in the ‘A’ and B’ divisions will play a five-team double knockout format bracket, while ‘C’ and ‘D’ teams will compete in an eight-team modified double knockout draw.
“It’s been a great year and we’re looking forward to this weekend,” Barbondy said.
“Our fields have never been this good. Ever (because of all the rain). The infield and the outfield are primo.”
The tournament is slated to begin Thursday evening with seeding games, followed by more games Friday, then playoffs starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The tournament finals are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday in the various divisions.
“It should be a good, competitive tournament,” she said.
“The way it’s set up it gives every team a chance to be in a division that will make it close. The divisions are fairly evenly matched and there are some good teams who can win on any given day.”
In preparation for the tournament, league volunteers recently laid clay bricks in the batters’ boxes on fields three and four, plus some infield work on field three.
“There will be more infield work done before the end of this year, but it’s been a great season,” she said.
“Everything ran smoothly. There’s a lot of commitment to this ball league and people really enjoy. It’s huge. We have 800 people on our Facebook page, alone.”
Prior to that, the league installed all new backstops, then began work on improving the infields on each of the league’s four fields.
Residents are invited to come out to spectate and cheer on the teams.
Teams in the tournament, and their seedings based on regular-season standings, are as follows:
2.) Rotten Eggs
3.) Cowboys & NDNZ
5.) Brew Jays
7.) Wild Chickens
9.) Sticks & Stones
10.) Broke Millionaires
12.) Puff Puff Smash
2.) Old School
3.) Sons of Pitches
5.) Eagles & Beavers
6.) Smokey & Bandits
7.) Mighty Ores
10.) Beerly Legal
11.) Falcon Awesome
12.) Left Overs
13.) Pretty Lil Liars