Fifteen teams battled it out at Ott’s Park over the weekend in the 37th annual Merrill Firefighters Charities Alan Soward Memorial Softball Tournament. When the dust settled after 30 games in the double-elimination tournament, the Baja’s team claimed the title with a win in the championship game over Grandpa’s Grill.
New this year was a 32-team bean bag tournament. In the end, the team of Ben Beyer and Andy Fields were crowned the kings of the hill.
The annual kids game included 25 players who got to meet Smokey the Bear and the Fire Pup.
Raffle items were donated by local businesses.
While the final amount raised is yet to be tallied, Merrill firefighter and tournament director Jon Leiskau said he was happy with how the weekend went.
“Merrill Fire Department guys make it go with a lot of help from community members. The community support is great, a lot of people are willing to lend a hand to keep everything going,” he said, “and Mother Nature was definitely on our side.”
Funds raised through the softball tournament go into the Merrill Firefighters Charities fund. That fund benefits individuals, organizations and activities in the Merrill area. Contributions from the fund have been made to house fire victims, families facing medical expenses and youth activities.