Co-ed softball is coming to the Cadwell Sports Complex.
This weekend, the USA South Dakota east river state championship will be held at Cadwell Park to conclude the softball season. The west river state championship was held last weekend in Pierre.
“We like to go to Mitchell because of the proximity on the interstate,” South Dakota USA co-ed commissioner Steve Ruda said. “It’s just an easy destination to get to.”
The co-ed tournament, which has always been, “one of the bigger tournaments of the year,” according to Ruda, expects to have 50-60 teams in Mitchell this weekend, compared to 17 in Pierre at the west river tournament.
The teams come from all parts of the state. There will be seven or eight teams from Mitchell, while others come from Sioux Falls, Watertown and Huron, among others.
“We’re happy with 50-60 teams coming to Mitchell. It’ll be a fun weekend and a full weekend of softball,” Ruda said. “... The games are intense, but not quite as intense as some of the men’s and women’s tournaments.”
The “more relaxed” tournament does come with some rule changes. Men use 12-inch balls, while women use 11-inch balls. It’s also an automatic double when men are walked to avoid pitching around them.
The first games in the Rec Division starts at 8 a.m., with the Competitive Division starting at 9 a.m. and the Open Division beginning at 10 a.m. Mitchell will next host in 2021 as Huron will host next year.
“It’s a nice way to have a tournament and one last hurrah for the softball season,” Ruda said. “The co-ed tournament is probably a little more relaxed of an environment, so a lot of teams hang out. It’s a fun tournament. It’s a high note to end the year.”