Softball teams in ‘World Series’
Craig — The Mountain West Insurance/Bower Brothers Construction “Sooners” will compete for a national title today through Sunday at the 1999 Triple Crown Softball World Series Tournament in Steamboat Springs.
The Sooners opened the tournament today by playing Straight Edge Construction from Utah at noon.
On Friday, the Sooners will face L.A. Limo of Connecticut at 2:30 p.m. and the Wizards from New Mexico at 5 p.m. at the Ski Town North field. Saturday, the Sooners will tangle with Big Nasty from Nevada at 7 a.m at Simillion field.
“All the teams in the tournament earned a spot for nationals,” said Sooners coach Robert Razzano. “You have to get first or second in a Triple Crown Tournament to qualify for nationals. This will be eight out of the last nine years that we have qualified for nationals. Our best finish in the tournament was 12th place.”
The Sooners earned their spot for the ‘world series’ earlier in the summer.
“We got second in a Fourth of July Tournament in Steamboat Springs,” said Razzano. “I only recognize a couple of Colorado teams that are in the tournament. It’s pretty much a national tournament. If you win this weekend you will be one the top teams in the nation.”
The tournament features 51 teams from 13 states.
“We played a team from Hawaii one year, Florida and all over,” said Razzano. “It’s good competition and it’s a good tournament. If you come all the way from Connecticut and Florida you are going to bring a pretty good team. Most of them are pretty solid teams that you play.”
According to Razzano, the Sooners will go into the tournament short-handed.
“It’s tough to field a team on Thursday and Friday,” said Razzano. “You have to have people get off work and so it’s hard to field your same team that you play with during the year. We will be short a couple of players in the tournament and it will hurt us a little bit not having our shortstop in Jarrod Kunkle, because that is the main part of our defense. However, the rest of the guys should be there.”
The tournament has some different rules.
“In the tournament a home run is an out and that hurts us a little bit because we have a lot of home run hitters,” said Razzano. “You have to adjust your swing to try and get base hits. Hopefully, we will be able to adjust to that and get a lot of base hits.”
“We are a competitive team, so if we lose it kind of hurts us,” said Razzano. “Last year a team from Steamboat Springs won this tournament. A year ago we played in the Steamboat Springs league and we beat the same team that won the ‘world series’ three out of four times. It kind of gives us confidence of winning some games.”
Some students are choosing to chart their own course after graduation, bucking the conventional path of college or trade school, but with no less ambition than their degree-seeking peers. Moffat County High School senior Tyler Gonzales is one such student, who has chosen to dive into a full-time job at Chaos Ink after graduating and feed his passion for design and entrepreneurialism.