HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — The weekend after Memorial Day is one that hundreds of softball players around Western New York wait for each year, as 24 teams battle it out in Hamburg, for the annual ‘Girls of Summer’ fastpitch softball tournament. Organizers say tickets usually sell out every year.

“It can be competitive,” said tournament organizer Tony Krupski. “We encourage girls of all skill levels to participate, but there is definitely a competitive edge that the girls have.”

While the teams are made up of girls either 10 and under or 12 and under, Krupski says the lessons learned are for everyone.

“It’s great for kids of any age, and there are so many more opportunities for girls.”

Competition aside, the teams are tight-knit. Not only do they motivate each other in the batter’s box, but the friendships spread off the diamond too.

After an impressive win, the Southtown Slammers insisted News 4 interview as many of them as possible. When asked what they loved most about the game, that camaraderie shined through.

“I love being with my team,” said one player. “They always help out, especially when you struggle.”

“I was newer on the team, and they all supported me,” said another. “And they are really fun to be around.”

The ‘Girls of Summer’ softball tournament runs for the rest of the weekend.

Abby Fridmann is an anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in November 2020. See more of her work here.