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DWU coach hopeful for future fastpitch tourneys after this year's was called off

Earlier this week, the first-ever Dakota Wesleyan University fastpitch softball tournament was canceled due to a low number of entries.

But DWU softball coach Ed Kieff feels like there was another reason why the proposed two-division tournament, which was scheduled for this weekend, won't take place.

"I think most of those teams already had plans," Kieff said. " ... The bottom line was we really got started promoting things late, and by the time we started a lot of teams had already set up their schedules."

Kieff came up with the tournament in May. At the time of the cancellation, six teams were signed up for the tournament. Those teams were from Yankton, Brookings, Mitchell, Rapid City, Watertown and Wayne, Neb.

"My plan was to have a little tournament of 20 teams, but we never came close to that," Kieff said. "Unfortunately, you just cannot do a two-division tournament with just six teams. I have done tournaments in the past on short notice and they have worked. I think we did good job of getting the word out late this time, but it just didn't work out."

Kieff said he originally envisioned this tournament to be a tune up for Class B and C fastpitch teams, who will be competing in their respective state tournaments next week.

Another contributing factor led to the lack of tournament entries was the ringneck tournament in Sioux Falls, which began Friday and plays through the weekend. The ringneck brings 132 total teams from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Missouri, Canada and South Dakota to compete in its annual tournament.

"That is a big tournament that has been going on in Sioux Falls for years, so that probably had something to do with it," Kieff said.

While the tournament is canceled this year, Kieff plans to put on two fastpitch tournaments in 2014. The first, he said, will be in the middle of May and the second one will be scheduled for July next year.

"We will get it out in early November that we are going to have these tournaments, so teams can know ahead of time," he said.