After Weekend of 268 Games, Softball League Sends $20,000 to Charity
The University of Virginia School of Law's student softball league raised $20,000 for a Charlottesville-area charity this weekend during a tournament that attracted 1,800 law students from across the country.
"It went really well," said third-year law student Blaire Hawkins, co-director of the North Grounds Softball League Invitational. The annual event this year involved 120 teams from 50 schools as far away as Florida and Syracuse, N.Y. The 268-game tournament took over not only UVA's fields, but also softball and baseball fields in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
NGSL donates funds raised from tournament fees and sponsors to Children, Youth and Family Services, an organization designed to address the issues of poverty, child abuse and neglect, parenting, child care quality, teen and family conflict, and early learning in Central Virginia.
"I hope participants take away a sense of the importance of the work CYFS does, as well as the spirit of UVA Law," Hawkins said. "We work incredibly hard on academics, but we also have an incredible student culture here."
The UVA Men's Gold team won the invitational by defeating a team from perennial top contender Florida Coastal School of Law 8-4.
"They definitely get ready for us every year," Hawkins said of students from the Jacksonville, Fla., school. J.C. Lyons, a Florida Coastal student, won Saturday night's home-run derby competition.
The UVA Co-Rec Gold team bested UVA's own Blue team by a score of 19-9 for the co-rec trophy.
About 50 UVA law students are involved with planning the logistically challenging event, which started Friday and concluded on Sunday.
"The weather was pretty good except for one storm that caused a mini-tornado," Hawkins said. "It was strong enough to move a box of balls from home plate to third base."
Organizers gave the pitcher, who was on the field when the storm hit, a free t-shirt for his trouble.
The invitational caps participating teams at four per law school because interest is so high, Hawkins said. NGSL refunds the travel costs for those who traveled the farthest to the tournament — this year, students from Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Fla.
"I think the reason why so many people at other schools look forward to coming down here every year is that they get a piece of the UVA culture that exists here all year round," Hawkins said.