By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
April 5, 2019
LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Hundreds of softball players are stepping onto the baseball diamond at Freedom Park this weekend.
The International Senior Softball Association is hosting its Titletown USA Championships and Women's Spring Nationals in Valdosta. This is the third year the two are being held in partnership with the Valdosta Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority, and the event continues to grow.
More than 20 women's teams are participating in the Women's Spring Nationals, sharing the complex with more than 30 men's teams batting up for the Titletown USA Championships.
Organization founder R.B. Thomas Jr. started ISSA 25 years ago with one tournament. Now seniors from coast to coast are taking a swing and stepping up to the plate.
"It's really remarkable to see these seniors, how they are staying active and ageless in their later years," Thomas said. "These 70's are so athletic today, you see them hitting home runs, running the bases sliding in to the bases, it's remarkable."
Both the women's and men's tournaments will be going on at Freedom Park all weekend. Organizers said they plan to be back again next year.
The tournaments also bring a boost to South Georgia. Officials with VLPRA said last year the tournament brought in more than $700,000 to Lowndes County, and expect to do the same this year.