Softball tournament in Gulfport helps boost economy - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Softball tournament in Gulfport helps boost economy

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Dozens of girls' softball teams spent their weekend right here on the Gulf Coast. The Diamond 9 Coastal Classic welcomed teams from all over the country. Diamond 9 Events is a well known name in the world of softball. Kevin O'Donnell, President of Diamond 9, made a decision to bring their presence to the Gulf Coast for a special reason.

"We live in Avon, New Jersey, so a year ago we were directly hit and went through something similar to what the people down here went through," said O'Donnell.

"So we knew what it took to get back, so they say its Jersey strong, and we have some similar stories."

Having gone through Hurricane Sandy, O'Donnell and his family are all too familiar with devastation. They were able to empathize with those here on the Gulf Coast who went through Hurricane Katrina.

"We thought it was a really good story, hurricane survivors like us coming to the coast. We also look for great destinations. This seemed to be a great destination, great fields, teams like to come here. We've had a really good experience."

O'Donnell says Diamond 9 is always looking for new places to host tournaments, and he gave WLOX an idea of just how big those tournaments can be.

"We go to ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. That's one of our bigger events, 200 teams. We get about 278 college coaches."  

With these teams having some of the most talented girls fast pitch players in the country, a Diamond 9 tournament right here in Mississippi makes local coaches like Troy Best very happy.

"Having teams of this caliber come down to Mississippi is fantastic. You have teams all the way from California, Central Florida, and New Jersey. It really helps us expand our recruiting aspects, seeing teams from around there," said Best.

Despite the humidity and inconsistent temperatures, O'Donnell says there is no doubt Diamond 9 will be returning to Mississippi next year. The tournament welcomed 32 teams and about 2,000 people. He says they already have teams registered for next year.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • USS Fitzgerald arrives in South Mississippi

    USS Fitzgerald arrives in South Mississippi

    Friday, January 19 2018 12:30 PM EST2018-01-19 17:30:09 GMT
    The USS Fitzgerald arrived in South Mississippi Friday morning for repairs at Ingalls Shipyard. (Source: WLOX)The USS Fitzgerald arrived in South Mississippi Friday morning for repairs at Ingalls Shipyard. (Source: WLOX)

    Outlined against the sun, the USS Fitzgerald painted a patriotic picture of American strength as it churned through the water, heading to the Port of Pascagoula. 

    More >>

    Outlined against the sun, the USS Fitzgerald painted a patriotic picture of American strength as it churned through the water, heading to the Port of Pascagoula. 

    More >>
  • Coast cities make up top 4 affordable beach towns in U.S.

    Coast cities make up top 4 affordable beach towns in U.S.

    Friday, January 19 2018 12:16 PM EST2018-01-19 17:16:15 GMT
    Coast cities are some of the most affordable beach towns to visit, according to one website. (Source: WLOX)Coast cities are some of the most affordable beach towns to visit, according to one website. (Source: WLOX)

    Four South Mississippi cities are taking top spots in a survey of the most affordable beach towns in America. Topping that list is Gulfport, which comes in the number one spot. Biloxi snagged the number three spot, with Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs following at numbers five and six, respectively.  SmartAsset - a website aimed at helping people with their finances - has conducted the survey for the past three years, with Gulfport topping the list for each of those. "This...

    More >>

    Four South Mississippi cities are taking top spots in a survey of the most affordable beach towns in America. Topping that list is Gulfport, which comes in the number one spot. Biloxi snagged the number three spot, with Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs following at numbers five and six, respectively.  SmartAsset - a website aimed at helping people with their finances - has conducted the survey for the past three years, with Gulfport topping the list for each of those. "This...

    More >>
  • Silver Alert issued for 86-year-old woman missing from Columbus

    Silver Alert issued for 86-year-old woman missing from Columbus

    Friday, January 19 2018 11:01 AM EST2018-01-19 16:01:58 GMT
    Source: MBISource: MBI

    A Silver Alert has been issued for an 86-year-old woman from Columbus. 

    More >>

    A Silver Alert has been issued for an 86-year-old woman from Columbus. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly