A stormy midday deterred bracket play this morning and early afternoon, and all games were called, as the weather had not let up. However, the clouds parted and the sun joined the party at the USA Elite Select World Fastpitch Championships just in time for the tailgate and NPF game tonight at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City.
The parking lot of Community America had probably never seen as many softball players and fanatics as it did this evening. Teams from across the country, here to compete for a championship, took off their cleats, shook off the dust and joined together as a softball community.
Bounce-houses bordered the front entrance of the park, as did games and facepainting stations. Several food trucks parking along one side and vendors set up shop, all for the athletes, families and friends gathered there tonight. The young women of the tournament even got to interact with several of the NPF Pride and Dallas Charge athletes, asking advice, snapping pictures and maybe even sparking NPF dreams of their own.
No matter, what had gone on during a game or what was to come, one thing united these people: softball. Families brought grills and set up camps. One team even brought their mobile locker room. The Bombers teams arrived on their bus, honoring those serving in the Armed Forces.
The atmosphere was light and, despite the struggles with the weather, everyone was excited and eager to be there for softball, and to keep that attitude running as they will take the field again in the morning.