COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — When one of the teams scheduled to play in the Swing for Life softball tournament at Cottonwood Complex didn't show up Friday, organizer Kathy Howa scrambled to rearrange the brackets.
The last-minute changes meant a little more down time for some teams, and back-to-back games for others. But Howa said all of the coaches and players made the best of a beautiful day and a worthy cause.
"Things went really smoothly," said Howa, who hosted most of those rural teams in a massive slumber party at the Rowland Hall-St. Mark's gymnasium Friday night. "They had such a good time; everyone was so flexible."
The tournament was held at Cottonwood Complex and Valley Softball Complex on Friday and those teams will also participate in today's hit-a-thon, which raises money for breast cancer research. In its fifth year, the fundraising event attracted more than 40 teams.
Altamont earned its first win of the season in come-from-behind fashion against Rowland Hall-St. Mark's. The Longhorns, a 1A school, defeated the Winged Lions 18 -17 when Morgan Fieldsted hit a line drive that drove in the winning run.
In the game immediately following that, North Summit, ranked fifth among 2A schools, defeated Monticello 10-1. The game featured a home run by Rachel Rehfield. Sydney Gibbs earned the win pitching for the Braves.
After the tournament games ended, most of the teams boarded their buses and headed to the Bees' game in Salt Lake City. In the eighth inning, the players all carried pink glow sticks on a walk around the park as a tribute to those who battle breast cancer.
"It was so cool," said Howa. "The line of girls went from the left-field fence to center field."
Howa said the players were heading back to Rowland Hall at about 9:30 p.m. for an educational seminar on cancer screenings and awareness presented by doctors from the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
"Then they'll dance and play games all night," she said. "They're going human bowling; they are the ball."
Howa invited any cancer survivor to the Cottonwood Complex at 1:15 p.m. today for a special tribute. After the team introductions and survivor tribute, the coaches were going to take on members of the media in a softball game. Prep teams will begin hitting balls for the hit-a-thon at 9 a.m.
"Everyone should come on out and enjoy the day," said Howa. "It's going to be a fun, beautiful day."