Softball tourney planned for mid-July
When word spread that a baseball tournament was being planned to give Lehigh Valley high school varsity players a second chance to compete after the cancellation of the spring sports season, the softball community thought why not us too?
Eyes turned to Michele Laubach, who is also a high school softball coach, to get something going, and she has.
An 18-team Lehigh Valley Softball Showcase is being planned for July 14-16 at Northwest Little League Fields in Bethlehem. Play will be voluntary for girls from the East Penn Conference and the Colonial League who were on their high school’s varsity roster this year.
“I think this is super positive, and it’s getting the community together,” Laubach said.
So do Jim Corpora, the District 11 softball rules interpreter and PIAA/EPC assigner, and Andy Kametz, a PIAA umpire.
“This is a great idea, and the Lehigh Valley is a hotbed for girls softball, so why wouldn’t you?” Corpora said.
Teams that have committed so far are Parkland, Easton, Northampton, Bethlehem Catholic, Freedom, Liberty, Salisbury, Pen Argyl, Bangor, Nazareth, Wilson, Allentown Central Catholic, Notre Dame, and Northern Lehigh.
“It’s not a high school function and not a PIAA function. They’re not using school equipment or school property,” said Kametz, whose granddaughter played for Parkland.
“Parkland had five or six seniors whose turn was coming. Brian Neff at Southern Lehigh told me he was going to have five seniors breaking into starting positions this year. They earned it. It means a lot to these kids.”
Instead of uniforms, players will be wearing Lehigh Valley T-shirts. There will also be a senior dedication for those who graduated in 2020.
“This is a non-PIAA affiliated event, and it’s not associated with any school districts and school district fields,” Laubach said. “Parents are signing waivers, we are following all safety precautions, and we’ll be contracting either St. Luke’s or Coordinated Health.
“We have awesome coaches, and these are good people coming together. I’m hopeful that everything will go off and that people will see what the softball community is doing.”