Slow pitch very much alive

I spent last Saturday at my second of several slow pitch tournaments taking place this fall. Roughly 22 teams from North Mississippi, including New Albany and all of the Union County schools, traveled to BNA Bank Park for the annual Robertson’s Sportswear Tournament. For a sport that’s “dying,” that’s not too bad.
Despite rain throughout the day, the competition never slowed down, and there were several great games, including Baldwyn’s win over Nettleton, snapping the Lady Tigers’ 35-game win streak.
Several schools are making the same move as New Albany, adding volleyball and phasing out slow pitch. This makes sense seeing as there are no scholarship opportunities for slow pitch athletes unless they also play fast pitch in the spring, and there are opportunities in volleyball.
While no junior college in Mississippi plays volleyball, and the closest schools playing the sport are division one schools, the opportunity is still there, and if you haven’t watched the Lady Bulldogs yet this year, you’re missing a treat, as the matches are pretty exciting.
Needless to say, I support the decision made by these schools to add volleyball and phase out slow pitch, but in instances like last weekend, you can see the presence of slow pitch is still very strong. In fact, three schools in North Mississippi have added the sport this year.
I’m all for there being as many opportunities for the kids as possible, and if that means keeping slow pitch, then so be it. And it doesn’t hurt that Union County is consistently in competition for state titles in the sport.
Maybe I’m contradicting myself a little bit, but last weekend opened my eyes to how much slow pitch is still alive, and as long as that’s the case and I have games to go to, I’ll be there.
The next big slow pitch event to look forward to this year: next weekend’s Union County Tournament.