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March 11, 2009 > Central Park in Fremont to host 2009 March Madness Classic

Central Park in Fremont to host 2009 March Madness Classic

By Biff Jones

March Madness is coming to Central Park in Fremont this coming weekend (Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15) on fields 3, 4, 5 and 6. This version of March Madness is in the form of women's fast-pitch softball. Sixteen teams from community colleges across Northern and Central California will participate in this two-day event with each team playing three games on Saturday, and from one to three games on Sunday.

Ohlone College of Fremont is hosting the tournament, with Chabot College of Hayward also participating. The tournament will start out with four pools of four teams each.

Pool A will pit Feather River, Diablo Valley, Fresno City and Napa Valley against each other; Pool B has host-school Ohlone, along with Solano, Hartnell and Lassen; in Pool C, San Jose City, Porterville, Yuba and Modesto will be battling; and Pool D will have Chabot, Siskiyous, Gavilan and Taft against each other.

Games on Saturday will be played on all four fields starting at 9 and 11 a.m. and 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Ohlone plays their three games on Field 4 at 9 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m., while Chabot plays on Field 6 at 9 and 11 a.m., then 5 p.m.

Sunday's games will be divided into two brackets: Gold (Championship) and Silver (Consolation). The top two teams from each pool after pool play will advance to the Gold bracket; the bottom two teams to the Silver.

After the daylong round robin, the top two teams in each pool will advance to the Gold Bracket single-elimination round on Sunday, March 15, while the bottom two teams from each pool will head to the Silver Bracket single-elimination round.

The eight-run, five-inning mercy rule will be in effect throughout the tournament, with a 105-minute time limit. No inning starts after one hour and 45 minutes of play from the first pitch of each game. First tiebreaker in deciding pool play standings is least number of runs against, with a coin toss being the second tiebreaker. Teams winning each pool will be the home team in the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinals of the Silver bracket play at 9 a.m.; and quarterfinals of the Gold start at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m. the semifinals from each bracket will get underway. And the finals for both brackets begin at 3 p.m.: Gold on Field 3; Silver on Field 4.

Admissions for these games are on a daily basis with adults being $6; minors (6-17) and seniors are $4; and kids 5 and under are free. High school students in their softball uniforms, and other youth softball players in uniform, are also free. There is no charge for parking.

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