Andrews Field has been the site of world youth baseball championships and Senior AAA baseball nationals. But this weekend, slowpitch will take centre stage, all for a good cause.
The inaugural Ashley Neufeld Slowpitch with a Twist Fundraiser will run Saturday and Sunday at Brandon’s premier baseball facility, with all proceeds going towards the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex. The planned complex — a $2 million facility featuring four adult diamonds and four mini-diamonds — was named in honour of the former Brandon softball player, who died in a car accident while playing university softball in North Dakota in 2009.
This weekend, six teams will take to the field to help raise money for the project, competing in a fundraising tournament that will feature a home run derby, 50/50 draw, beer gardens, a silent auction and slowpitch played in a full-sized baseball facility.
“The twist is it’s being played at Andrews Field and being played on the full dimensions of Andrews Field, so it will be played on 90-foot bases, and that kind of thing,” said tournament organizer Bev Neufeld, Ashley’s mother. “It’s something different and hopefully it works out well and we’re just going to give it a try.”
One-hour games will begin Saturday at 6 p.m., and be played under the lights until midnight, with the home run derby slated for Sunday at 10 a.m. Playoff games will begin Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to make a donation for admission to the first-time event.
“For this first tournament I wanted it to be people who know our family and knew Ashley, that kind of thing, because its a fundraiser,” Bev Neufeld said. “When Ash was at Dickinson (State), the fastball team and the baseball team were close, they travelled together everywhere and her brother plays baseball, so baseball was part of her life, too. So it was just kind of appropriate, I thought, that we would give it a try (at Andrews Field) ...
“Eventually my light at the end of the tunnel is I would like to have a 40-team slowpitch tournament at the new (softball) complex.”
Construction on the first two diamonds at the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex is expected to begin this fall.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 21, 2013