ALTON – There will be a third day for this weekend’s Amateur Softball Association Class C Co-Ed state slow-pitch softball tournament at Gordon Moore Park.
This year’s champion will be honored Sunday, weather permitting.
The scheduled two-day tournament became a three-day one when rainy weather postponed several games Friday night and backed up Saturday’s schedule.
So competition in the 17-team, double-elimination event is slated to resume at 9 a.m.Sunday on Diamond No. 3. The championship contest is set for either noon or 1 p.m., with the champion advancing to the national tournament in St. Joseph, Mo.
”The ground crew at Moore Park did a great job getting the fields ready for Saturday after the rain we had Friday,” tourney director Dean Emerick said.
He added, “I saw the forecast and had to redo the schedule. And we didn’t want to play until midnight Saturday, so we moved the last (four or five) games to Sunday.”
Games were played on three fields Saturday, including Diamond No. 6. Both Diamond No. 1 and Diamond No. 4 absorbed plenty of water from Friday’s powerful shower.
“We completed one game Friday and had some other ones suspended,” Emerick said. “But we were able to start again at 10 a.m. Saturday, thanks to the ground crew. Kudos to them.”
It appears defending champion Peel Wood Fired Pizza and 2015 runner-up Ball Park Motors of Jacksonville are on a collision course to clash again for the championship.
Peel Pizza captured the title as Westco last year and as Revolution in 2012. Ball Park Motors won it in 2013 and 2014.
Both teams were undefeated through their first three tournament games and they will clash at 9 a.m. Sunday.
On Saturday, Peel Pizza defeated Cat Daddy’s of Alton, 13-6 and Chaos of Springfield, 15-7, while Ball Park Motors blasted Miss-N-Hitters of Carbondale, 19-4, in five innings and then topped Construction Nation of Rock Island, 15-6.
Construction Nation and Chaos also are making bids to snare the Illinois title, but both will have to come through the losers' bracket. Construction Nation posted a 15-3 victory over Swing Company of Bethalto and Chaos edged I’d Hit It of Marion, 6-4.
A three-run fifth and four-run sixth enabled Peel Pizza to pull away from Cat Daddy’s, which tied the game 6-6 in the fifth. T.J. Gaffney hit a pair of two-run home runs for Cat Daddy’s.
Brandon Keene smacked a home run and triple to pace Peel Pizza.
“Our defense picked us up again,” Peel Pizza manager Travis Cook said. “We’ve been struggling a little with our hitting, but our offense started coming alive at the end of the game.”
“It was a nice win for us because Cat Daddy’s has a good team.”
Moore Park has played host to state softball tournaments since 1987 and the Illinois Co-Ed event has been a staple in Alton for 28 years.