Girls Fastpitch Softball Emeralds Smash Tourney turns 25 this weekend

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It may not be the biggest — the Capital City Classic claims that honor — but the Emeralds Smash Tournament this weekend is definitely one of the older ones in Montana and also holds the distinction of attracting a very diverse and talented field each year with girls fastpitch softball teams coming from all over Montana, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest.

“It could be larger, but we don’t have enough fields,” Smash Tournament director Sue Allen said.

“We turned away a dozen (teams).”

Allen said the 2019 tournament field was set back in January, two weeks after registration began.

“We have a beautiful complex,” Allen said of the attraction.

“It’s nice to show it off and have different teams come and play, that’s what I enjoy. (Visiting teams) can go to Glacier Park, have a chance to play at the (Flathead) Lake. We have special things other places don’t have.”

The one thing the Smash has over the Classic, however, is more Canadian entrants.

“Which is great,” Allen said.

“The older (Canadian) teams are stronger.”

This is also the 25th year of Emeralds softball and the Smash Tournament, which makes this edition extra special.

Action is set to begin for 42 teams on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 a.m. with pool play games on seven fields at Kidsports Complex.

The championship round is Sunday afternoon.

The tournament has four divisions — 10U, 12U, 14U and 16/18U.

All teams are guaranteed four games.

There is no admission charge. The Emeralds offset costs and raise funds on their concessions.

The team entry fee is $400, which pays for umpires, balls, trophies and awards.

In addition to Kalispell’s Emeralds, other area team participating are from Columbia Falls, Eureka, Polson, Ronan and Whitefish.

The Capital City Classic in Helena had 76 teams entered from Montana, Washington, Wyoming and Canada last weekend in Helena.

The Emeralds had one championship winner in the Capital City with the 12U (older) squad, coached by Allen. The 12U, now 16-3-1 on the year, also won the Crush Tournament in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the week before that. Following state tournament play in Missoula next month, the 12U head for nationals in Medford, Oregon, in August.

The 12U has also competed in tournaments in Spokane and Wenatchee, Washington, on Memorial Day Weekend and last month.

Allen’s daughter Zoey plays second base for U12 (older).

Her husband Dan coaches the 12U (younger) team. Their daughter Karley is the team’s catcher.

Dan’s 10U team won the Smash last year.

Coach/daughter is a popular theme with the Emeralds as Dan Galley coaches the 10U team. His daughter, Ryley, is the team’s pitcher/shortstop.

Tim Anderson coaches the 14U with his daughter Avery the pitcher. His younger daughter Laynee is a pitcher/utility player with the 10U.

The Smash Tournament is the 13th of 15, not counting state, tournaments this summer with USA Softball of Montana. The Bridger Mountain Classic in Belgrade is also this weekend.

The finale is the Billings Fastpitch Showdown Stars & Stripes July 6-7.

2019 Emeralds Smash Tournament

At Kidsports Complex

Pool play on Friday/Saturday

Championship round Sunday

10U

1. Calgary Kaizen Futures

2. C Town Little Rebels (Columbia Falls)

3. FURY Fastpitch 10U (Frenchtown)

4. Kalispell Emeralds

5. MAC (Mission Valley)

6. MT Avalanche (Missoula)

7. Polson Lil’ Lakers

8. Sparks/Slater (Bitterroot)

12U

1. C Town Rebels

2. Calgary Kaizen Futures

3. Fury Fastpitch

4. Helena Halos

5. Kalispell Emeralds

6. Kalispell Emeralds

7. MT Wildfire (Missoula)

8. MT Avalanche/Latrielle

9. MT Extreme (Missoula)

10. Polson Purple Wave

11. Sparks/Dypwick (Bitterroot)

12. Blaze (Seattle)

14U

1. C Town Rebels

2. Calgary Adrenaline 04

3. Fury Fastpitch 14U

4. Insanity (Ronan)

5. Kalispell Emeralds

6. Laurel Freedom

7. Libby Loggers

8. MT Avalanche/Summerfield

9. Polson Lakers

10. Red Deer Rage (Alberta)

11. West Kootenay Rebels (British Columbia)

16/18U

1. C Town Rebels

2. Calgary Adrenaline

3. Calgary Kaizen U19

4. Calgary Kaizen Futures

5. Edmonton Warriors

6. Flathead Breeze

7. Insanity

8. Kaizen U16 (Calgary)

9. Polson Purple Rain

10. Spokane Valley Impact

11. West Hill Heat (Canada)

12. West Kootenay (British Columbia)

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