DOTHAN, AL. (WTVY) - For years, Rhonda Kirk wanted to host a tournament for high school softball players…something similar to the Downtown Dothan Hoops Classic boys’ basketball tournament.
Rhonda Kirk, Tournament Coordinator for the Dothan Diamond Classic, says "High school softball is the second highest grossing sport with Alabama high schools and this thing has the potential to be big. On a personal level, I want it to be right there with the Hoops Classic...even though I do both tournaments."
The classic itself is 16 local high school softball teams competing in a pool-play that leads to single elimination.
"Money is based off of single elimination. According to how many games you play during single elimination, you will get "x" amount of dollars that we make from the gate sponsorship," replied Kirk.
Single elimination play took place on Friday and on Saturday, the semi-finals were held with the championship game to follow.
Sharon Omara, All Zones Fastpitch Academy, says "I think that the Wiregrass has so much un-tapped talent out here that we need to promote these girls, give them an opportunity to put their skills out on show, and just give them a chance to play locally in front of a lot of fans."
Omara and her team hosted a free pitching clinic for 50 local junior, ranging anywhere from 8 to 14 years old.
"Why not pitching? It's what I love to teach? But no, it's a big part of the game and I think it's more of a specialized position that you really need to put some time in to," replied Omara.
Event coordinators say they believe the Dothan Diamond Classic will become a staple in the community.
"I think Ms. Rhonda Kirk does a fabulous job of coming out and giving these kids a great opportunity to play and its 16 teams...you can't beat it! I think it's only going to grow from here and really help softball develop further here in the Wiregrass," said Omara.
"These girls get after it! I mean offensively, defensively...they just get after it and to watch these kids participate is a real joy," said Kirk.