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> NSA kicks off today
Southsider2k12
post Jul 23 2007, 11:52 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...amp;TM=49037.55

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The NSA World Series gets under way with pool play 9 a.m. Monday at Patriot Park in Michigan City and Kesling Park in LaPorte.

Today in Gary, opening ceremonies will be held for the event at the U.S. Steel Yard, home of the Gary SouthShore RailCats. The RailCats play at 2 p.m., and opening ceremonies for the World Series are expected to get underway at about 5:30 p.m.

Michigan City and LaPorte will host the 10-and-under portion of the tournament, with bracket play expected to begin Wednesday. The championship game will be played Friday.

Anyone wishing to attend should arrive early. Michigan City Parks and Recreation Director Jeremy Kienitz said the plan is to play all games before dark. He said 73 teams are expected to compete, arriving from 13 states and Canada.

"It's being called a softball tournament, but in essence it's more of an event," Kienitz said. "The economic impact will speak for itself. We're just honored they're coming to our facility and our city.

"Hopefully we can entice them to come back for future tournaments."
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Roger Kaputnik
post Jul 23 2007, 01:05 PM
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this is great--I hope they found what they needed and wanted in MC, and they come back often


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Southsider2k12
post Jul 26 2007, 06:40 AM
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It has been busy around town, and I have seen a bunch of NSA t-shirts around. I am glad to see this is working for MC.

http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...&TM=31248.1

QUOTE
Softball Tourney Already Boosting MC's Economy

Jason Miller
The News-Dispatch

MICHIGAN CITY - One day into the NSA Girls Fastpitch (cool.gif Softball World Series, LaPorte County tourism officials have already seen an economic impact from the thousands of people in town for the tournament.

"I've been talking to some people and they've said there's a great increase in revenue from this already," tourism board President Doug Waters said Tuesday. "We're all getting what we need from this."

Tourism officials expect thousands of people to come into LaPorte County for the softball tournament, which is being played in LaPorte, Porter and Lake counties this week.

They also expect those people to spend millions of dollars at local shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as other attractions like Blue Chip Casino and the Washington Park Zoo.

Kevin McGinnis, manager at McGinnis Pub, 227 W. Seventh St., said his restaurant saw an influx of tourists on the first official day of the week-long event.

"We had about 20 people in here Monday in the late morning. It looked like it was a team and their parents," McGinnis said. "We're definitely seeing an influx of people coming in, even in just the first day."

Maureen Mellon, marketing director for the LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the tournament will likely inject a good deal of money into the community, which was a key reason in attracting it to LaPorte County.

Tuesday's pin swap was slated to be the largest gathering of the tournament week. It serves as a chance for every girl participating to meet girls from other teams and other states and swap lapel pins from their respective homes.

Players and their families attending the swap will likely venture from the park to other areas of Michigan City to eat, shop and possibly sleep.

"I know the restaurants are a big hit already," Mellen said Tuesday. "We want everything to go well, but if it rains later this week, that means there will be a lot more shopping and eating."

And that, Mellen said, will be good for a county that "worked hard" to make sure the tournament goes off without a hitch.

"I'm amazed at the number of people in the community who said 'What can I do?'" Mellen said. "The community really came together on this."

Contact reporter Jason Miller at jmiller@thenewsdispatch.com
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Roger Kaputnik
post Jul 26 2007, 12:18 PM
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I went running then picked up shrimp lo mein from China One, and drove to Washington Park, figuring on eating a leisurely dinner before going back to the office. The place was absolutely packed with softball players and their families. It was great!


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Southsider2k12
post Jul 30 2007, 12:10 PM
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It sounds like the tourney was a huge success from everything I have heard. Kudos to all involved in making this happen.

http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?Sectio...amp;TM=48591.08

QUOTE
Softball Players Pin Down Memories

Adam Parkhouse
Sports Editor, The News-Dispatch

MICHIGAN CITY - Play in the NSA Northern Girls Fast Pitch "B" World Series wrapped up a bit early Tuesday so that players, coaches and parents could enjoy some fun in the sun at Washington Park.

Though the event wasn't slated to begin until 4 p.m., thousands of people flocked to the beach nearly three hours early on a beautiful day for a Pin Swap, where players exchanged team pins with players from other teams.

"It's early, but this is absolutely amazing," said Jeremy Kienitz, recreation director at the Michigan City Parks and Recreation Department, who, along with the LaPorte County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, put on Tuesday's event.

"This is everything we could have expected and much, much more."

Each of the 264 teams involved in the event - also being played out in Crown Point and Merrillville -were invited to attend, and it appeared that most showed up. By 5:30 p.m., an estimated 5,000 people had come through, with many more expected to arrive.

Among them were the Red Chix, a 12-and-under team from Jonesboro, Ind., that's been competing in Pool "S" at Patriot Park, going 2-0 to finish first in that pool. The Red Chix are the two-time defending state champions from Indiana, and had a 45-6 regular season.

In all, players from the Red Chix collected 25 pins before running out of their owns pins to swap for others.

Right fielder Lauren Godfrey said her favorite pin was from the Oakland Sidewinders, a 12U team that took first place in Pool "B". Her teammate, Katelyn Leisure, preferred the pin from the Carol Stream (Ill.) Storm.

The Storm's pin was a popular one, mainly because it contained a blinking red light in the center of the "o" in "Storm," according to coach Greg Schwarze. The Storm didn't fare quite as well in pool play, going 0-2 in Pool "J," though both games were close.

The Storm's catcher, McKenzie Schwarze, and center fielder, Katie Kolb, both preferred a pin from a team in Lake County that has all the players' names and jersey numbers on it.

The team would like to fare better in bracket play, according to Greg Schwarze, but the event has still been plenty of fun for the kids.

"The games are almost secondary to the event," Schwarze said. "The thing the kids like about traveling is doing the overnights. Staying in hotels, going swimming, stuff like that."

The Pin Swap event was a raging success, according to Schwarze, who attended a similar event at last year's World Series.

Peyton Webb, a member of the LaPorte County Lazers, set a goal of getting at least one pin from every state represented in the tournament. The Lazers are a 14-and-under team that is the only team in the 264-team field representing The News-Dispatch coverage area. Webb's favorite pin from a Portage team because it "looked like a pirate."

The overflowing Washington Park crowd was treated to a series of events Tuesday, including a D.J. until 5 p.m., followed by karaoke until 7 p.m. After that, extracationist Matt Kalita performed before the Michigan City Zoo staff put on a demonstration.

The evening was capped off by a 15-minute fireworks display after dusk.
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Roger Kaputnik
post Jul 31 2007, 09:17 AM
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I think Garbacik of Parks and Rec deserves a huge backpat for this. he really has been working to make MC better through the Dept.


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