USSSA Fastpitch Nationals bringing over 200 teams to Tri-State as COVID-19 numbers rise

Officials say tournament could be $4.5 million dollar boost to local economy

USSSA Fastpitch Nationals bringing over 200 teams to Tri-State as COVID-19 numbers rise

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Nearly three dozen softball teams from across Indiana are playing in the All-American Showcase Tournament at Deaconess Sports Park this weekend.

Officials say all 32 teams will be in Evansville through Sunday.

However, seven times as many teams is expected to arrive into town next weekend for the USSSA Fastpitch Great Lakes National.

For Grace Colvin, softball is her passion, so missing out on her senior season was absolutely crushing. This makes travel softball that much more meaningful for her.

“With the months I’ve been off, getting to play again has been great,” Colvin said, “It’s about the joy of playing, not the competition.”

As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise, so does the concern over public gatherings and sporting tournaments coming to the Tri-State. This concern definitely translates over to next week’s softball tournament, which consists of 224 teams.

14 Sports spoke with Jim Wood, president of Visit Evansville, about what they’re doing to keep people safe.

“With the USSSA tourney coming in, we’ll provide masks for all the players when they come in,” Wood said, “We encourage everyone to practice safe social distancing measures. We have sanitizers around the park. It’s an individual responsibility thing. We’ve all been in it together since March, and everyone knows how to operate and function in their hometown, and they’ll bring those same habits and patterns with them.”

The Colvin family says they're definitely concerned, but feel like they're taking the necessary steps to keep them and their teammates safe.  

“When we’re on the field, all the positions are six-feet apart, and the only people you’re with is your team,” Colvin said.

“We as people - just taking precautions is the biggest thing,” John Colvin, Grace’s father said. “You have to know your limitations. If I’m sick, I’m staying home.”

Deaconess Sports Park Director Tim Fulton tells 14 Sports that next week’s tournament could bring about $4.5 million to the local economy.  

Organizers say all event areas have been cleaned and sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines.

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