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Local softball tournament draws top players, colleges

July 23, 2010|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Many of the top high school softball players in Washington County and the Tri-State area will showcase their talents in front of dozens of college coaches and scouts this weekend in the Late Summer Invitational, hosted by the Tri-State Thunder organization.

The tournament features 16U, 18U and 23U teams at two locations near Williamsport -- the Kemps Mill and Pinesburg softball complexes.

"We're lucky that not only do we have a lot of talent locally, but we have a lot of talent coming up from the Richmond area," Thunder president Missy Cutchall said. "Anywhere in the Four-State area, this is where the most talent's going to be."

Games will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and championship contests will take place Sunday afternoon.

In addition to a host of local colleges who will have people at the tournament, Cutchall said representatives from the University of Missouri -- which reached the NCAA Division I College World Series this year -- will attend.

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"Eighteen colleges have committed," Cutchall said. "I feel we'll have 20 or 25 by the time the weekend rolls around."

Local teams participating in the tournament include:

* Tri-State Thunder 18U, which includes North Hagerstown's Shanan Plunkett, Rachel Thomas and Danielle Wissinger, Clear Spring's Morgan Purdham and Chambersburg's Kaylee Werner.

* Tri-State Thunder 16U, which includes Clear Spring's Amber Forrest.

* PA Heat, which includes Chambersburg's Emily Estep and Katie Diller, and Waynesboro's Katie Zak, Dani Miller and Megan Baker.

* Heartbreakers Red, which includes North Hagerstown's Allysen Breeden, Boonsboro's Breanne Lohman and Greencastle's Autumn Appleby.

* Mason Dixon Blaze Red, which includes Greencastle's Rachel Kline.

"This is the fourth year we have hosted a tournament (near) Hagerstown," Cutchall said. "With the economy so bad this year, teams aren't able to travel as far away for showcases. So, if we can bring the coaches to our local kids, all the better."

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