Men’s fastpitch still alive in Colfax

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COLFAX–Men’s fastpitch softball in this foothills town has a long history.

In a time when the sport of men’s fastpitch is a dying breed in Northern California, this tiny hamlet will host its 53rd annual men’s tournament this coming weekend.

While the tournament has a long history, this year’s tournament is the first to be held in Colfax since 2015. After a one-year hiatus in 2016, last season’s tournament, in conjunction with the Colfax Recreation Association and Pete ‘n’ Peters of Tahoe City, was held on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.

The tournament this year is being co-sponsored as a fundraiser for the Colfax High baseball team. It is being dubbed the Dog Daze Classic and will run Aug. 3–Aug. 5.

This season’s tournament organizers have dropped the tournament classification a level to draw more teams. This year’s tournament will include eight teams.

“We dropped the classification level to make it a more competitive tournament,” said Colfax Recreation official Ed Marson. “This year we have eight teams and we had four on a waiting list.”

Marson noted that while the tournament will provide exciting entertainment for both players and spectators, the fact that it’s a fundraiser is more important.

“Fundraising in high school sports is a must these days,” said Marson, who was an assistant coach for the Falcons’ baseball squad that captured the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V baseball championship.

The softball tournament, along with a golf tournament Aug. 19 at Auburn Valley and a pancake breakfast in January, helps sustain the school’s program.

“When you add up bats, balls, tournaments, umpires, uniforms and practice equipment, you can see why these fundraisers are important,” Marson added.

At its peak in the early 1980s, fastpitch softball in Colfax was the thing to do. More than 300 players filled both men’s and women’s team rosters that played in four divisions, six nights a week. In addition, the Recreation Association hosted as many as five tournaments a year.

“Everyone played softball,” Marson said. “We had both men’s and women’s upper and lower leagues. It was a lot of fun.”

Action begins Friday, Aug. 3, at Living War Memorial Park in Colfax with a doubleheader and continues with seven games on Saturday and seven more on Sunday.

The first tournament championship game in the double-elimination tournament is set for 2:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon. An “if necessary” game would follow at 4 p.m.