Mountaineer Shootout Softball Tournament Serves As Relief To Sto - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Mountaineer Shootout Softball Tournament Serves As Relief To Storm Victims Around The Region

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Sports have a way of offering an escape from reality. For most of us, that reality is the havoc caused from that awful storm just ten days ago.

One tournament in Morgantown gave players and families a reason to have some fun amidst the power outages across the state.

"You've got people from all over the area coming in and getting together," Ashland, Kentucky head coach Chane Campbell said. "It takes away from the thoughts of having no power back home. They come out here and get together and they forget about all of that. Then it brings them all into one as a big family. Actually it's like a family reunion on the weekends for our girls especially."

The powerful storms that ripped through West Virginia and many of the surrounding states didn't stop the 18 travel league softball teams from attending the first Mountaineer Shootout over the weekend. For some families they left their homes during the power outage in order to attend the tournament, while seeking some relief from the hot temperatures.

"I lost my power last Friday and we decided to come up this Friday and on my way here I got a call that I did have power," Elkins parent Missy Evans said. "I was out for seven days so it was nice to come up where there was air, electric and water."

"It's helped a lot," Wheeling parent and coach Randy Carpenter said. "it got the kids minds off of it and let them come down and play some softball and just kind of relax for a little bit. It's been nice to get into some air conditioned hotels for a while. We've been out for about five to six days without power."

This weekend's Mountaineer Shootout guaranteed many other things besides softball games. Several of the families that traveled to Morgantown were without power for over a week and used the tournament as a retreat from their daily lives.

"The electricity went out and we ended up coming back from that to dark houses," Elkins parent David Wilmot said. "Some of the players had trees down in their yards and things like that. A couple of the parents didn't have the electricity on until Friday just before they left to come here to this tournament."

Tournament director James Hightower says several teams were forced to drop out of the event due to the tough circumstances. But the ones who were able to make it say they owe it to their kids to have some fun amid the recent crisis throughout the state.

"Everybody just kind of wants to get back to normal a little bit and let the kids play and have a good time," Carpenter said. "The parents will deal with it."