Last year the fledgling Imperial Valley Babe Ruth girls softball league took all-stars to Lodi for the Pacific Southwest regional tournament, the lone hurdle before a trip to the World Series.
While last year's 12- and 16-and-under teams didn't reach the big series, this season they have some incentive — they are playing in front of the home crowd.
Beginning at 6 tonight on Legion Field in Calexico, the 12-and-under all-stars will get another chance to earn a trip to the World Series in Pine Bluff, Ark. The all-stars, players from Brawley, Calexico, El Centro and Holtville, will be facing California squads from Concord, Riverdale and Lodi and Arizona teams from Avondale and Yuma.
The 16-and-under all-stars will follow with their own Pacific Southwest regional event beginning Aug. 2 at the same location. Competition will be among teams from the Imperial Valley, Avondale, Yuma and Hawaii.