In recent years, the Governor’s Little League Complex at Isleta Pueblo has played host to several District 9 Little League softball tournament and several state youth softball tournaments. This weekend, Isleta’s softball fields take a step up, hosting the Little League Junior Division Southwest Regional Tournament.
The tournament features state champs from Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and two Texas teams — Texas West and Texas East — as well as the District 9 host team, Westgate from Albuquerque’s southwest quadrants, which was given a bye into the tournament.
The tournament has been hosted by District 1 the last few seasons in Northern New Mexico. This season, District 9 administrator Pam Stanley decided to throw Isleta’s hat into the ring and bid for the Junior Division softball regional tourney and was delighted when it was awarded to the pueblo.
“When the opportunity came up, we jumped at it,” Stanley said. “This is just such a great facility that we’ve returned here year after year for district. We’ve hosted state tournament every year except this year.
“Isleta, the community always comes together for us, too. Grandparents, family members — people who don’t even have kids in the league — they all come out to give a hand. We have enormous support from the entire pueblo always do a great job supporting us.”
The Regional tournament will kick off with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 21. The celebration will include a traditional Isleta Pueblo meal prepared by volunteers from the pueblo as well as a dedication from Isleta Pueblo officials.
The double-elimination tournament is slated to begin with games at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22. Games will be played at those times on Sunday and Monday, July 23-24, with a triple-header on Tuesday, July 25, with consolation bracket games at 10 a.m., 12:30 and 3 p.m. The championship game is set for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 26.
State Tourneys start this weekend
Before the regional tourney kicks off at Isleta, four area teams will be battling in their respective Little League state tournaments this weekend.
Belen Little League has three All-Star squads advancing to state — a high-water mark for the league in recent years.
In the 9-11-year-old State Tournament, which begins Friday afternoon at Gallup High School, the Belen All-Stars take on Copper of Cobre, N.M., at 5:30 p.m. in the double-elimination tourney. The championship is set for 9 a.m. Monday with an “if game” at 11:30 a.m.
BLL also advanced teams to baseball’s Minor and Major Division State championship tournaments.
The BLL Minor team faces Taos in its opener at 6 p.m. Friday at the Bob Forrest Sports Complex in Carlsbad. The top two teams advance to the championship round to be held at Santa Fe’s National Little League complex next weekend, July 21-24.
The Belen Major All-Stars also travel to Carlsbad this weekend, opening with Clovis Zia Little League at 6 p.m. Friday. The top two teams from that first round tournament move on to the Championship round at Cibola Little League in Rio Rancho next weekend.
The Enchantment 9-11-year-olds are the only team that gets to stay close to home this weekend, playing its first round tournament at Zia Little League in Albuquerque.
ELL opens against the Clovis-Zia All-Stars at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The top two teams advance to the Championship round, also being played at Zia Little League, next weekend, July 21-24. The Major Division is the famed division that plays the Little League World Series in Willamsport, Penn., in August.