What a Great Day to Play!
By: Christine Hatty
The final day of softball competition at the 2012 State Softball Finals, presented by Amerisure, is surely one to remember. With gorgeous weather, 15 different teams competed in the State Softball Finals at the St. Johns Youth Baseball Association Ball Fields in St. Johns, Mich. on Saturday, July 28.
Hundreds of athletes, coaches, family, friends and fans all gathered together in hopes for the same goal: to have fun!
"I love playing softball, but I love having fun with my teammates and the other teams we play against more than winning games," said athlete Mark Adams of the Area 8 Blazers (Eaton and Ingham Counties). Adams has been an athlete for 34 years and knows the joy he gets and the friendships he makes from playing sports for Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) is greater than earning the medals.
As fun as it is for the athletes to participate in State Softball Finals, it is fun for the fans to watch. The Elizondo family; Erin, Fred and their three-year-old twins, Blake and Brady, came out to cheer on their Uncle Troy (Macomb) who is on the Area 8 Blazers team as well.
"We love watching Uncle Troy and his teammates play," said Erin. "There is so much happiness in the air at SOMI events, and the athletes are really exciting to watch!" The Elizondo family is extremely involved in their Uncle Troy's life and they go to as many of his events as they can. Fred even coaches the poly hockey team that Troy is on.
Aside from softball games being played all day, a softball skills event was held. At this event, athletes learned and practiced throwing and catching softballs and running around the bases. "I like learning so I can improve my skills," said Shirley Breen of Area 28 (Clinton County). "Running the bases was my favorite part!"
An exciting special event was put on by the tournament committee of St. Johns. A Home Run Derby was held where one athlete from each of the 15 teams was nominated to participate. Each athlete hit miniature basketballs off of a tee and tried to have the ball soar past a certain point in the outfield.
Two celebrity guests even came to the 2012 State Softball Finals to cheer on athletes, sign autographs and hand out medals. Minor League Baseball team, Lansing Lugnuts' players number 23, pitcher, Tyler Ybarra and number 7, catcher, Aaron Munoz showed great support.
The 2012 State Softball Finals in St. Johns was a great success with special events, special guests and special athletes. Thank you to all of the volunteers and supporters of the 2012 State Softball Finals presented by Amerisure who show continuous dedication and support to SOMI programs, events and athletes.
- 5/25: Volleyball Tournament (Carson City, MI 48811)
- 5/30: 2013 State Summer Games (Mount Pleasant)
- 5/31: Wertz Warriors Golf Outing (Macomb)
- 5/31: Rev It Up Ride (Mt. Pleasant)
- 6/2: 7th Annual Office Lounge Golf Outing (Port Huron)
- 6/8: 2013 5K Foam Fest (Shelby Twp., Michigan)
- 6/15: 2013 MWCAA Corporate Cup Relays (Lathrup Village)
- 6/17: Area 8 Golf Invitational (East Lansing)
- 6/18: REO Golf Outing (Northville, MI 48168)
- 6/21: 6th Annual Highlands Golf Classic (Grand Rapids)