The Texas East softball title will be won in El Campo this year. After 15 years in Seguin, the El Campo Little League will host the State tournament for the first time in Legacy Fields history. Starting on July 12, all five Little League softball divisions, 10U, 11U, Majors, Juniors and Seniors will play in El Campo.
“When they were building the ballpark they (the Little League board) envisioned this park to be utilized in this fashion,” El Campo Little League President Shawna Wied said. “For it to not only host the Little League, but also select, and to constantly grow and get bigger. I’m friends with quite a few of (the original board members) and they’re just ecstatic at what’s going on at the ballpark.”
Legacy Field has hosted tournaments, select tournaments and, through the Little League, Area, District and Sectionals, but State will be the biggest to date.
“We were pretty excited about (landing the tournament) and immediately started thinking about all the things that needed to happen,” Weid said.
Currently, the Little League only has two dedicated softball fields. However, with the need for five fields, they’ll use the high school softball field and their two flex fields during the tournament as well. The flex field’s grass infield will stay grass, but there will be a painted pitching circle for the softball teams. The fences on the flex fields will get adjusted for softball use. The gate that separates the high school field and the Little League park will be open for families to travel back and forth.
The entire Little League board will be on hand every day during the State tournament to help with field maintenance and District 18 is providing a director for each of the five fields to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. El Campo police, a nurse and EMS will also be on hand, Wied said.
To prepare for the large number of cars, the city is re-striping the lines in the parking and mowing the fields for the overflow parking. There will only be one entrance and exit during the tournament. The only entrance will be off the West Loop and Business 59 will the exit. Parking will be handled by the El Campo Volunteer Fire Department and while the games are free, parking will be $5.
Any money made during the State tournament will go towards the loan for the ballpark and things benefiting El Campo’s Little League, Wied said.
With the tournament coming to the city, Wied is hoping for even more help from the community to provide a hand with concession stands to take care of the many people visiting the park. If you would like to help you can go to the following link www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c49afac2cabfb6-texas.
While El Campo doesn’t have any teams in the State tournament this season, the community is still encouraged to attend.
“I welcome anybody to come out and watch the games,” Weid said. “Unfortunately El Campo doesn’t have anybody in the State tournament this year, but come out. Help if you can or just watch. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
While everyone is welcome, Weid is asking that any four-legged friends stay at home.
To open up the State tournament, the Little League will have a parade through the park with each team holding their Sectional banners around 3:30 p.m. Friday July 12. The teams will end on Heritage Field with a presentation, first pitch and games will start right afterward at 6 p.m. Games will be played July 12-15.