Softball Tournament Moves from Denver to Grand Island

GRAND ISLAND - The Loretta B. Smith Memorial Softball Tournament, previously scheduled to happen in Denver, Colorado, will be taking place November 6-8 at the Veterans Athletic Complex in Grand Island, Nebraska. 

 

Founding members Chad Warne and Pat Racanelli of Prodigy Fastpitch wanted to create a tournament that supported a cause. Racanelli's wife has had four family members pass away from cancer, including her grandmother Loretta. Prodigy Fastpitch decided that the tournament be named Loretta B. Smith, after her, and that proceeds from the tournament would benefit families in need that had been affected by all types of cancer. 

 

In normal years, the tournament draws more than 90 teams from five different states. Around 80 college coaches typically attend as well to scout potential recruits. Fans, players, and supporters have donated more than $100,000 directly to families in need since the tournament began with just four teams in 2012. 

 

With the late change of the venue and some teams not making the trip during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 tournament is expecting 45 teams from 14U, 16U, and 18U age divisions along with 50 college coaches.

 

"A late season softball event such as this coming to town provides a much needed boost to Grand Island's tourism economy. We're delighted to work with Prodigy on this and future softball events to be held at the amazing Veterans Athletic Complex," said Grand Island Tourism Executive Director Brad Mellema. 

 

For more information, visit the event's website at https://lorettabsmith.weebly.com/, or email John Kucera (jtskucera@gmail.com) or Brock Culler (culler6@charter.net).

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