Punxsutawney preps for second tourney

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Little League complex will be just as crowded this weekend as it was last weekend, and for a very similar reason.

This time, though, softball will be the sport highlighted instead of baseball, as 20 teams from across the region will play in four different age groups: Under 10, Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16.

Punxsy will be represented in three of the age brackets.

In the Under 10 division, a round-robin format will be used. Punxsy will be represented by the Purranhas, which will be one of three Punxsy teams playing in the opening games of the tournament at 6 p.m. today.

In the Under 12 division, Punxsy will be represented by two different teams: The Purranhas and Punxsy Pride.

Each team will open the tournament at 6 p.m. today, as well.

But the tournament for the U12 division will be played using a double elimination format instead of the round-robin play, so there is no certainty as to what time the teams in that division will play after their opening game today.

It is certain that each team will play only one game tonight, though.

In the U16 division, Punxsy will be represented by the Rockets, the only Punxsy team that will not play today.

The Rockets will begin their games Saturday morning at 10:45 a.m.

The tournaments are organized and run by the Little League board of directors, tournament coordinator Jim Sloniger said.

He also added that all proceeds from the tournament go directly to the Groundhog Little League general fund which is used for upgrades and upkeep of the facilities.

For example, this year some of the funds were used to help redo all of the infields.

Last year, batting cages were installed at two of the fields, and a new equipment shed was constructed.

Any additional funds are used to keep equipment up-to-date, such as lawn mowers, edgers and rollers.

Sloniger said that the tournament employs the assistance of many volunteer parents who work the concession stands, monitor the different fields and assist with field maintenance between games.

For baseball and softball fans in Punxsutawney, this tournament will be the last action they will see in town until next spring.