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Lawrence Softball Legend to Throw Out First Pitch

On Thursday, July 12, Betty Leedom, who founded organized girls softball in Lawrence Township 56 years ago, will throw out the first pitch at a tournament that bears her name.

Editor's Note: The following game highlights were submitted to Lawrenceville Patch by Lawrence Junior Baseball and Softball Association.

Betty Leedom, who founded organized girls softball in Lawrence Township 56 years ago, will throw out the first pitch at a tournament that bears her name today, Thursday, July 12, at 6 p.m. at Colavita Field in Lawrence's Central Park athletic complex.

The Lawrence Junior Baseball and Softball Association (LTJBSA) is currently hosting a girls 11- and 12-year old softball invitational called the Betty Leedom Tournament.

The double-elimination tournament includes six area teams representing leagues from greater Mercer County including Lawrence, West Windsor, Cranbury-Plainsboro, West End (Trenton), and Robbinsville, as well as Morrisville, Pa. All games are being played at Colavita Field.

The tournament honors the legacy of Ms. Leedom, a Lawrence Township softball legend. Ms. Leedom started a girls softball league in Lawrence in 1956, as a response to the formation of Little League baseball in Lawrence that same year.

In 1956, Ms. Leedom not only performed duties as league administrator and a team manager, but organized and played in Lawrence Township's first all-women's adult softball league.

Ms. Leedom also worked for the Lawrence Township Recreation Department for 50 years before retiring in 2006. She has a softball field named in her honor, located in Lawrence Township's Village Park.

Ms. Leedom, who has attended every game of the tournament thus far, will be presenting a first place trophy to the tournament's champion. Since the Betty Leedom tournament is a double-elimination event, a winner will be determined only when one team remains with one or fewer losses.

The tournament champion may be determined as early as Saturday, following an 11 a.m. game, or as late as Sunday, following two more games.

The Lawrence Township team lost its first game of the tournament, 8-1, to Morrisville. The Lawrence team, made up of girls who played for one of the LTJBSA's three major league teams, recently won its first post-season game in six years. The team beat New Egypt, 8-7, in the first round of the Little League District 12, 12-and-under all-star tournament.

More About Lawrence Little League Softball

The Lawrence Township Junior Baseball and Softball Organization oversees Lawrence Little League Softball. In spring 2012, the league was home to three major league teams, consisting of girls aged 10 to 12, and two minor league teams made up of girls from ages 8 to 10. It provided opportunities for 62 girls to participate in and learn the game of softball, as well as the values of teamwork, dedication, respect and friendship.

The league is open to girls between the ages of 8 and 12 years old who reside in Lawrence Township, and it places a strong emphasis on player development. The league organizes players to compete in Little League's New Jersey District 12 post-season all-star tournaments as well as invitational tournaments.

More information on the league is available at http://www.ltjbsa.com.

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