35th Annual Softball Tournament Raises $20,000 for Local Charity
A spring cold snap didn’t stop teams from 47 law schools from converging on the University of Virginia School of Law over the weekend to compete in the 35th annual North Grounds Softball League Invitational. The event culminated Sunday with a UVA team win and $22,500 raised for charity.
In regular division play, UVA Men's Gold topped UVA Men's Iron in the final Sunday.
UVA Co-Rec Gold advanced to the final game in the co-rec bracket, but was defeated by Florida Levin College of Law’s team on Sunday.
The teams faced snow flurries and rain on Saturday, but the clouds cleared for Sunday’s games.
“We were initially worried that weather would dampen some spirits, but it actually had the opposite effect,” NGSL Commissioner Jonathan York ’18 said. “All the teams seemed to recognize how bizarre the weather was for the first week of April. It built a great sense of camaraderie.”
After initial round-robin play, the teams with the best records competed in NCAA-style brackets to determine the two champions of the tournament.
For UVA Men's Gold, the win wasn’t easy. York, a co-captain on the team, said his highlight of the tournament was capping a furious rally against Florida State in the semifinals Sunday. Down 21-5 in the fourth inning, UVA scored 11 runs in the sixth and then three in the bottom of the seventh for a 23-22 walk-off win.
“I still can't believe we pulled it off, it was absolutely incredible,” he said.
The tournament featured 97 teams in total from law schools across the Eastern United States, stretching from Boston College and the University of Maine to the University of Notre Dame and Florida State University.
As directors of the invitational, third-year students Laura Gregory and Dascher Pasco organized and hosted the massively popular annual event. Second-year students Janie O’Connor and Ali Goldman served as head field monitors.
The invitational will donate $20,000 of the proceeds to ReadyKids, a local organization that provides early childhood learning programs, family counseling and other services for disadvantaged children.
The league will donate an additional $2,500 from the tournament to UVA Law's Public Interest Law Association to fund summer public service jobs for students.
“We have such a special community here at the Law School and in Charlottesville,” York said. “I love that we can share it with other law students and also give back to such an important charity like ReadyKids.”