The City of Maricopa Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department hosted the inaugural Copa Cup Challenge at Pacana Park last Saturday. The Men’s Slow Pitch double elimination tournament drew 12 teams from around the state of Arizona, including Yuma, Tucson, Casa Grande, Mesa and Metro Phoenix.
When all was said and done, Arizona Impact (Phoenix), the top-ranked “D” tournament team in the State of Arizona, shook off a heartbreaking semi-final loss and defeated Cock Knuckle (Tucson) in back-to-back games to take home the title with a 10-6 victory. X-Plosion (Yuma) knocked off the Maricopa Misfits (Maricopa) 13-7 to capture third place.
The tournament, which began at 10 a.m. Saturday and finished at 12:45 a.m. Sunday, was sponsored by Golden Eagle Distributors and Boombah Sports (www.boombah.com) and featured a very comprehensive prize package.
“The tournament was very competitive and quite enjoyable,” PRL Director Marty McDonald stated. “Players were complimenting us all day. I’d like to thank our sponsors, Budweiser and Boombah Sports for their generosity with the prize donations. I’d also like to recognize tournament supervisor Monica Rubio for her hard work as well as Parks & Rec Staffers David Aviles and James Kingery for keeping the park clean and the fields in excellent shape.”
The tournament featured a home run derby and a special appearance by the Miken Sports Truck. Players using Miken Bats received free hats, shirts from Miken with a few players receiving brand new bats free of charge. Players also had a chance to purchase rolling bat bags, bat-packs, shoes and more from Boombah Sports, a Chicago-based company that is partly owned by local resident Greg Miller.
Individual players paid $10 to enter the home run derby and received seven swings to hit as many out of the park as they could. Mark Cooper from Texas City, Texas, won the home run derby with three home runs, including a shot that traveled over 350-feet in length. Brad Peterson (Tucson, Az) took home 2nd place and Trent Marshall (Buckeye, Az) finished third.
“We’re going to offer more tournaments here in Maricopa. They have a positive economic impact on the city with players purchasing food, beverages and gas here in town,” McDonald said. “We’re estimating that all teams spent close to $3,000 on related items at the snack bar and local businesses.”
The PRL Department has scheduled a New Year’s Bat Buster tournament for Jan. 4-6, 2008, the Chili Pepper Shootout for April 18-20 and the 2nd Annual Copa Cup Challenge for July 11-13. Upcoming tournaments will feature brackets for Men’s and Co-Ed play. All information can be viewed online at www.cityofmaricopa.net/softball.html
Photos by Mandy Hank