Ironton Little League to host girls state softball tourney

Published 2:14 am Friday, July 17, 2009

The Ironton Little League is putting out the welcome mat and rolling out the red carpet.

The ILL is hosting the girls little league — ages 11 and 12 — softball state tournament beginning this weekend.

State tournament sites rotate among the 10 districts throughout the state. The district decides which league will host the tournaments that are assigned to the district and the league must then notify the district administrator — Donnie Rawlins is the administrator in the local District 11 — if they will accept the tournament.

“We’ve been lucky enough to be chosen to host a state tournament about every five years or so,” said Ironton league president Jimmy Mahlmeister who noted the ILL was the site of the 2005 boys junior league state tournament.

“Our league enjoys hosting state tournaments, mostly to show off our facilities. We are proud of our fields and park and we want the entire state to see our fields.”

Besides the fields, Ironton will showcase its new memorial that displays all the state championships as well as the league’s success in district tournaments.

Locally, Wheelersburg will be part of the six-team field. The field also includes Bucyrus, Poland, Avon, Ashtabula and East Hamilton.

The games begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday with Wheelersburg playing Ashtabula and Bucyrus taking on Poland. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, East Hamilton plays the winner of Wheelersburg and Ashtabula while Avon meets the winner of Bucyrus and Poland.

The games continue on Monday and will conclude either Thursday or Friday depending on the length of the championship series.

Mahlmeister said hosting a state tournament requires a lot of volunteers and man hours.

“When hosting multiple games, we will need about 15 to 20 volunteers. About 10 can put on one game,” said Mahlmeister.

“All members of our local board of directors will volunteer as well as members of the District 11 staff and parents within our league.”

Mahlmeister said he expects about 50 volunteers to help throughout the week including the boys’ senior league all-star team that won the District 11 title and will play in the state tournament July 25 in Painesville.

“As a group, the team appreciated that our league was supporting them by financing their trip to the state tournament, so they wanted to support us by giving some of their free time volunteering,” said Mahlmeister.