COLUMBIA — The sounds of softball chants echo through the air and girls of all ages yell , “I see a hole out there! I see a hole out there! I see an H-O-L-E — hole out there!”
Whenever a ball hits a bat, it’s followed by loud cheering from family and friends.
For many, this is the weekend life at the Rainbow Softball Center in Cosmopolitan Park where the Show-Me State Games softball tournament is set.
The Missouri Revolution, a 14 and under team, is the only team in the tournament from Columbia.
Coach Stephen Trower said that there are girls from Lake of the Ozarks, Fulton, Jefferson City, Blackwater, Pilot Grove, Boonville, Linn and Russellville on the team.
The Missouri Revolution has been together for a year. It meets for practice once a week, usually in Columbia, Jefferson City or Boonville.
Tiffany Urwiler, a pitcher, is from Lake of the Ozarks. She started playing softball when she was in third grade and began pitching in fourth grade.
Now 14, she said she enjoys being on a team of girls from all over mid-Missouri because she gets to meet new people. However, she said she usually has to drive about an hour to get to practices during the week.
“It’s kind of frustrating because your day gets cut short,” Urwiler said.
Trower says that as a coach, his main goals for the team are to help the girls grow in their softball skills and to prepare them for college ball.
“We’re all about trying to get these girls the recognition we can get,” Trower said.
He said they work with college coaches and participate in out-of-town tournaments to get the girls as much exposure as possible.
Trower said he wanted his team to participate in the Show-Me State Games this year because he wanted to be able to have a local tournament where parents, family and friends could come watch the girls play.
Urwiler said she is happy to be participating in the tournament this weekend because she doesn’t have to drive as far, and it is held in the town where the team is based.
“We’re going to represent Columbia,” Urwiler said.
Julie Brown’s daughter Marissa is an outfielder for the team. Brown, who is from Boonville, said her daughter has been on this team since it was formed. She said this is her third daughter to play competitive ball, and this is one of her favorite teams.
“This is the best group of parents and girls we’ve been with,” Brown said.
Brown said she thinks it’s great that they’re the only local team this weekend.
The team is on defense. Urwiler throws a pitch. From inside the dugout, a teammate yells, “Nice pitch! Just like that! Do it again!”
After starting the morning off with a win, both Urwiler and Brown said they believe the team has a chance at winning the tournament.
“We had a good first game this morning,” Urwiler said. “We’re playing well today.”