Some of the top softball teams in the North Shore will be convening on Gloucester this weekend for the 2nd Annual JJ Nicastro Summer Madness 1-Pitch Tournament.
The tournament, which was the John K. Arnold 1-Pitch Tournament for 30 years before Gloucester’s Industrial Softball League went defunct after the 2010 season, features 18 teams from all over the state and begins on Saturday (10:00 a.m.) with games being played at Burnham’s Field, Gloucester High School and Mattos Field.
The tournament, which will be played with wooden bats and a 6’-12’ arch type pitch, concludes on Sunday with all games being played at Burnham’s Field.
BENCO enters this weekend’s tournament as the team to beat as they have won the last two one-pitch tournaments in the city in last year’s JJ Nicastro Summer Madness tournament and the Fall Classic in September.
A nice balance of speed, power and solid pitching and a nearly identical roster to last year’s squad makes BENCO the favorites.
Other team’s looking to make a run are Hampden Hill, Price’s and a pair of out of town teams in the Devil’s Rejects and the Gorillas. All fared well in last year’s one pitch tournament.
“It was us and BENCO in the finals the last two tournaments,” said John Nicastro junior of Hampden Hill and the president of the JJ Nicastro Foundation. “BENCO won the last two so they are the team to beat. But we got a lot of good teams from all over the state, these tournaments are always tough to win because the field is always so strong.”
The tournament is double
elimination and Nicastro projects that it will finish up around mid day on Sunday.
All proceeds from the tournament go to the JJ Nicastro Foundation. Over the years the JJ Nicastro Foundation has raised scholarship money for students graduating high school and money to help high school students deal with the cost of rising user fees.
Nicastro estimates that the foundation raises and gives away nearly $25,000 a year to local student athletes.