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Little League Softball Day a Big Hit at Colleges

Little Leaguers get autographs from the Baylor University softball team at a recent Little League Softball Day event at the Waco, Texas, university.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (May 2, 2006) – Children of all ages and sports at one point in their athletic careers dream of what it would be like to be a professional athlete.

Basketball players have the NBA and the WNBA. Football players have the NFL. Baseball players have MLB.

On the other hand, youth softball players have limited access to what it really means to participate in the game of softball at an elite level. While there are professional leagues and Olympic-level play, the exposure of these events is extremely season-oriented, and it cannot possibly compare to the exposure of other sports.

For most players, the idea of softball being played at an elite level is at the collegiate level. As a result, to promote Little League Softball as well as the college softball experience, Little League International has created “Little League Softball Day.”

Participating colleges have included: Baylor University in Waco, Texas; St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas; the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash.; Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio; and the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.

Young athletes of all ages had the chance to experience the game of softball at its finest from warm up to game end. The days helped promote what participating in Little League Softball could potentially lead to. Moreover, it provided a generous amount of exposure to the participating universities or colleges.

Prior to game day, Little League International sent email notices to the surrounding area Little Leagues and media. These emails included information about the Little League Softball Day, in addition to a link to each participating university’s athletic websites.

On game day, Little League players and their parents attended the games either at no charge or at a discounted rate. After the games, the Little League players were permitted onto the field so that they could interact with the collegiate players. The Little League players were able to ask questions and receive autographs.

“These events are creating on-going relationships between the local collegiate programs and their surrounding Little Leagues,” Laurie Williams, league development manager at Little League International, said. “Overall, Little League Softball participation continues to expand, so we are anxious to continue to grow this program for next season and in the future.”

Baylor University welcomed Little Leaguers from all over Texas to Little League Softball Day.