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Fun Fest coed one-pitch softball a family-friendly tradition

Tanner Cook • Jul 17, 2018 at 12:23 AM

KINGSPORT — Coed adult softball is a sport that is enjoyable for the whole family.

“The games go by really fast and both teams are always in the game during one-pitch,” said player Mike Garcia. “I think one-pitch is more fun, too. You have to swing at anything when it’s close.”

The annual Fun Fest tournament dates back more than 35 years, and many current players can recollect their own parents participating in the festivities back in the day.

One-pitch softball is an entirely different game, according to most of the players that were out on the diamond Monday night at Brickyard Park. Adjusting from regular slow pitch and fast pitch is hard, but it can be done in a matter of minutes.

“You don’t have to sit there in the batter’s box and wait on pitches like you would in slow pitch,” Garcia said.

The men’s open division was held over the weekend. The coed tournament is taking place over the first part of this week, and a handful of teams from the weekend are trying to take both tournament titles home.

There were big hacks all over the place in the first two games Monday, with a handful of home runs that towered over the outfield walls on their way out of the park.

There were plenty of medium-size crowds over the weekend, and Monday night the crowds continued to come filled with lots of support for family members and friends.

One-pitch softball is different from other forms of adult softball in that if the batter does not swing or make contact with a pitch the umpire deems good enough to hit, then the batter is out. A foul ball is also is an out.

These rules make the games go by much quicker but also can get out of hand fairly quickly.

One of the early games Monday had a final score of 16-1 after four innings; all of the winning team’s runs came in a single frame. Tony Anderson delivered with two homers, including a grand slam.

The teams must have an equal number of male and female players on the roster or more women than men. The batting order must go man/woman or woman/man, though women can have back-to-back at-bats. Men cannot.

The co-ed tournament, sponsored by Kingsport Parks and Recreation and Action Athletics, concludes Wednesday night.

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