SPARTA, NJ – The town was swarming with softball players over the Father’s Day week end as the Sparta Softball program hosted their 18 annual School’s Out Softball Tournament on 10 fields. The weather was just right for the New Jersey and New York teams that traveled to Sparta.
Play began on Thursday evening and ran through extra innings on Sunday night’s championship games. Sparta was represented at every age group of play. The 8U, 10A and U14 teams played through to the championship games.
“The scrappy 8U bunch of girls have gotten better every week and have really come together,” said Sparta Softball program representative Jason Villar. “They fell just short of winning the title but still earned a much deserved trophy.”
With three wins in a row, the 14U “got hot at the plate and played strong defense,” said Villar. They lost, however to Monroe in the championship game but still earned another trophy for the 2016 season.
The 10A Diamonds took the championship game in a hard fought contest that required extra innings to determine a winner. Sparta came away with the big trophy beating Montville 8-2 in front of a raucous crowd.
“We played our hearts out and I am just so happy for these young girls who gave us everything they had on a hot and long day to win it. What a Father’s Day present,” said 10A head coach Chris Heim.
The annual tournament hosted 52 teams playing more than 135 games. “While it was a long week end with lots of softball,” said Villar, “you don’t see long faces. It was nothing but smiles. The girls from every team thrived on the competition, enjoyed spending time with their friends and families playing the great game of softball.”
“With teams playing on 10 Sparta field, it literally took a village to pull this off,” said Villar pointing to the “tireless efforts of the softball program volunteers, coaches and parents.”
Villar also thanked the many sponsor for “their constant support that allows these girls to play their hearts out for the love of the game.” Those sponsors included:
- Eastern Propane,
- Tomco Construction,
- Asian Island,
- Casa Mia,
- Eric’s Deli,
- Sparta Diner,
- St. Moritz,
- Tante Baci and
- TJ’s Pizzeria.
“The support we received this year was instrumental in providing a quality tournament for the girls and something everyone in Sparta can be proud of,” said Frank Ciaburri, the head of Recreation softball and Sparta Gems head coach. “Just look at the smiles on the girls’ faces.”
“One parent from another team said, ‘Thank you, we love coming up here each year for this tournament, it is sucha great time and our girls loved every minute of it.’ That’s what you hope for when running a tournament,” said Villar.