Softball Series takes over Southwest Portland

Southern teams again figure as favorites
By Cliff Pfenning,
Players from Wilkes County, North Carolina, and Milano, Italy, mingled at Alpenrose Dairy Wednesday.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning,

The world of youth softball celebrated another year of championship play at Alpenrose Dairy Wednesday.

Ten teams, including one from Beaverton and four from international locales, showed off their tournament uniforms during the opening ceremony of the Little League Softball World Series. The tournament begins Thursday with pool play, and concludes Aug. 17. The semifinals and final will be televised live on ESPN2.

Midway of Waco, Texas, returned after a two-year absence and will attempt to win its 12th Series title against a field of almost complete newcomers. Of the six U.S. teams, only Sterling, Illinois, the Central champions, have been to the tournament.

Wilkes County is the first team from North Carolina to appear in the Series.

Willow Creek, from the host District 4, is making its first appearance as well.

Warner Robins, Ga., the defending champion, lost in its state tournament.