A new club softball organization is hosting two first-time “friendly” tournaments in August dubbed “Maricopa Mayhem.”
Maricopa Sandlot fields fast-pitch 12-under and 14-under girls’ teams. The club launched in 2016 to give the girls more competitive opportunities, coach Michael O’Dell said.
The 12U tournament is Aug. 12-13 and the 14U tournament is Aug. 18-20 at Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Sixteen teams are being accepted for each.
In both tournaments of Maricopa Mayhem, games start at 8 a.m. both days and are timed for 60 minutes. Saturday’s games will run into the evening, and Sunday’s games will end with the championship game in the mid-afternoon.
The team entry fee is $350. There will be a team trophy and prizes for first and second place.
The tournaments are for fun and sportsmanship and are not United States Specialty Sports Association qualifiers. O’Dell said he and the other parents have worked hard to recruit teams to participate.
“We’ve done quite a bit of legwork, and we’ve posted it on 43ft.com [a softball forum],” he said.
Maricopa Sandlot started with one team of 12 players in spring of ’16 as the girls and their parents were looking for stronger competition than they could find locally. The parents coached and formed a club with uniforms and logos.
After playing in the Tempe Lady Hawks Softball League, eight of the players went on to a higher level of competition, leaving the Sandlot with just four girls.
O’Dell thought that was the end of the experiment, but more parents approached him that fall and asked if the team was going to continue. They soon had enough girls for 12U and 14U teams. O’Dell said they plan to add 10U.
Maricopa Sandlot plays spring and fall seasons.
This story appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.