THE event billed as the largest prizemoney softball tournament in Australia's history is set to return to Ipswich next year.
The inaugural theswitch MONEYBALL Fastpitch Softball tournament was staged at One Mile over the weekend backed by the Ipswich Softball Association and Ipswich City Council.
Event organiser Barry Jackson was delighted with the three-day series, which culminated in yesterday's grand final.
The Auckland Ramblers overpowered the Sydney Tropics 9-1.
"It's been awesome to watch people come out and enjoy it," Jackson said.
"It was a good turnout."
Toowoomba-based Jackson expected the tournament to be played in Ipswich again next year.
"It's very exciting," the former player said. "I really thought there was an opportunity to run the tournament.
"The first one is the hardest one.
"We've got eight teams. We're looking forward to 10-plus teams next year."
Ipswich was represented by Musketeers players who benefited from the weekend experience.
Jackson said one of the main purposes of the MONEYBALL format was to provide a player-focused series. This meant games were completed, rather than limited by time, and $8000 in prizemoney was offered to the winning team.
He said another objective was to have fun on and off the field.
That was highlighted by the variety of activities offered in addition to the elite players.
Aussie Steelers coaching clinics proved popular along with the Legends of Fastball masters exhibition match and a home run derby. Young teeballers participated in the outfield.
"Everyone was having a good time and essentially we've got the best players in the world coming and playing right here in Ipswich," Jackson said.
The Legends played a five-innings game on Saturday, battling in the warm conditions.
"There was plenty of laughs and a few sore bodies and heads this morning," he said.
"We're really looking forward to doing it again next year and making it bigger and better."
- Best batter: Rhys Evans (Ramblers)
- Best Pitcher: Harri Peters (Tropics)
- MVP: Zenon Winters (Mariners)
Tournament All Star team: Pitcher Harri Peters (Tropics), catcher Jayden Lach (Tropics), first base Zenon Winters (Mariners), second base Scott Sunley (Dodgers), third base Cole Evans (Ramblers), shortstop Rhys Evans (Ramblers), outfielders Travis Bartarillo (Bruins), Lewis Gerard (Ramblers), Tom Noble (Tropics), designated pitcher Maddix Rice (Ramblers). Coach: Nathan Nukunuku (Ramblers).
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