Sports & Recreation

Salt River Wild Ones play against Salt River Outlaws on a hot day at the Salt River Ball Field.

Youth Sharpen Skills with Summer Slow-Pitch Softball

By Richie Corrales

Au-Authm Action News

The Friendship Youth Sports League has started summer slow-pitch softball games, with co-ed and girls’ divisions. There are 18 teams in the league, and almost all of the teams are from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, other teams that joined the league are Gila River, Ak-Chin and Fort McDowell.

There are three age divisions in the league; 8–12, 13–16 and girls ages 9–12.

The league started the first week of June and will continue through July 31. There are four to six games three times a week to give all the teams a chance to play each other.

For many, playing slow-pitch softball was a challenge during the first week, because they came from T-ball or baseball. But the league is intended just for fun, a way to keep kids busy during the summer, and it’s a way to get teams together to help improve the skills of youth who might be interested in playing in city leagues and at school.

Every game night, families have been filling the stands to watch the young players learn the game of softball. Despite the sun beating down on them, they still show that they have a great time. Many of the younger players, like those on the Salt River Wild Ones or Fat Dawg’s Ballerz teams, had a habit of holding the softball over their heads like they did when they played in T-ball, and so they are learning something new. Many players also have been running back and forth between third and second base.

In the 13–16 age division, players challenge each other to see how far they can hit the ball; during their games you can see the players doing their best to swing and hit the ball, sometimes over the fences.

Many of the teams were also getting in some practice for upcoming tournaments, such as the Diamondbacks Inter-Tribal Baseball Invitational and the Native American Baseball & Softball Invitational, July 20–23, and the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games, July 21–24. All games will take place throughout the Community and the Valley.

Contact the Salt River Recreation Department for game schedules at (480) 362-5765.

Upcoming Softball Games

Thursday, July 28
at Salt River, 5:30–7:45 p.m.

Friday, July 29
at Salt River, 5:30–7:45 p.m.

Saturday, July 30
at Salt River, 8:45–11 a.m.

Sunday, July 31
at Ak-Chin, 8:45–10:30 a.m.


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