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Dalton Softball Tourney to Highlight Busy Weekend in Youth Sports

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“Lazy days of summer”? Not for local youngsters on a variety of travel sports teams.
 
This weekend will be filled with tournament play on softball and baseball diamonds near and far.
 
One of the biggest local softball events of the year gets under way on Friday in Dalton, where 26 teams will compete in four age divisions at the 10th annual Dalton CRA Invitational.
 
Titles will be awarded in 10-and-under, 12U, 14U and 16U age groups.
 
Local teams in action include the hosts from Dalton, Great Barrington, the Berkshire Blaze, Berkshire Force and Adams-Cheshire-Savoy Swat.
 
The action gets underway on Friday. Pool play continues through Saturday in all four age groups with the championship bracket play concluding on Sunday.
 
Meanwhile, the hardball crowd will be going for regional and state championships on baseball fields from one end of the commonwealth to the other.
 
The Pittsfield Little League National Division 8- to 10-year-old All-Stars are one of four teams standing in Massachusetts. The Section 1 champion Nats will be in Salem on Saturday to face the champs from Section 2 in a 1 p.m. state semi-final. The winner moves on to Sunday’s state title game.
 
The 10/12 Pittsfield Americans hope to be playing on Saturday. They have to battle their way through pool play Wednesday  Thursday through Saturday in their sectional tournament to make it to the sectional title game and a shot at the state tourney.
 
Likewise, the high school all-stars on the Post 68 American Legion senior team are playing in the Western Mass tournament, which gets underway on Wednesday evening in Wilbraham. Post 68, a perennial contender in the section, is aiming to stay alive through the finals, scheduled for July 24.
 
Three of the Pittsfield’s baseball all-star teams already are competing at the New England regional level, including one that gets to play relatively close to home.
 
Pittsfield’s Babe Ruth All-Stars are representing Western Mass in the 13-year-old, 14-year-old and 15-year-old regional tournaments that get underway on Friday.
 
The 13s are in Stamford, Conn., and the 14s are in Rochester, N.H. The 15-year-olds get to sleep in their own beds and make the much shorter trip to Bullens Field in Westfield. Their tournament begins at 11:30 on Friday morning with a game against the Eastern Mass champions.
 
Speaking of eastern Mass, there is no tournament attached, but there will be plenty of good youth baseball on display at North Adams’ Joe Wolfe Field on Saturday night. That is the site of the 29th annual La Fest Baseball Exchange.
 
The summer tradition pits a team of locals against a squad from Boston’s North End for a friendly competition. Later this summer, the North County team will make its annual trip east to play the Bostoners on their home turf.
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Baseball in the Berkshires Opens New Exhibit Friday in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "Take Me out to the Ballgame! The Road to October," presented by Baseball in the Berkshires: A County's Common Bond, features baseball players with roots in Berkshire County who have experienced the Major League Baseball’s postseason.
 
There are 38 MLB players who were born or settled in Berkshire County. Come find out how many made it to the post season during the opening reception Friday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m., during First Fridays Artswalk. There will also be a tools-of-the trade workshop beginning at 5, including the history of the baseball and the history of baseball gloves.
 
This exhibit is presented by Baseball in the Berkshires and will feature many of the artifacts in the organization’s collection. Baseball in the Berkshires: A County’s Common Bond is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring the residents and friends of Berkshire County together to assist in telling the story of Baseball in the Berkshires. The organization delivers programming that will highlight the cultural and historical part of Baseball in the Berkshires while also offering educational programming to all age groups.
 
Grampie’s Dog House will be selling hot dogs. Popcorn and other baseball-themed refreshments will also be served during the opening reception. The Road to October will be on display through Friday, Nov. 22. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. 
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