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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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Berkshire Adult Baseball League Finals Start Saturday

The final round matchups are set in the Berkshire Adult Baseball League, where BBA will take on Lenox in the 20-year-old division and the Adams Aces against the Moneymakers in the 35-year-old division.
 
The best-of-three series begin on Saturday morning at Lenox's War Memorial Field (for the 20s) and the Dalton Legion Field (for the 35s) at 10 a.m.
 
On Sunday, the venues change, and the teams will play at least one game -- two if necessary -- starting at 10. The 20-year-old final will be in Dalton while the 35s will be at Hoosac Valley High School.
 
Lenox earned its berth in the final with a 2-1 series win over the defending champion Cornerstone 90s last weekend.
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