March 8, 2006 - Play ball! Baseball and softball teams from Continental Ranch and Marana Little Leagues will kick off the season when the two face each other in the Marana Founders' Day tournament.

The afternoon games will feature six squads from each side, starting with three games at noon on March 18 at Ora Mae Harn Park, 13250 N. Lon Adams Road.

Teams will include T-Ball, coach-pitch, boy's minor and major baseball and girl's minor and major softball. Each age group will play one exhibition-style game with bragging rights going to the winner.

"It will be a fun way to kick off the season," said Marana Parks and Recreation Director Ron Smith.

Marana Parks and Recreation is introducing baseball and softball this season to promote both leagues to the community, said Sports and Aquatics Coordinator Mike Brummett.

Ora Mae Harn Park is home to the Marana Little League, while Continental Ranch Little League plays its games at its community park, 8900 N. Coachline Blvd. All Founders' Day games will be played on three fields at Ora Mae Harn Park to accommodate the influx of fans and event-goers.

Marana officials estimate a crowd upward of 300 people for the baseball and softball games alone. The games are part of a day's worth of events and activities for children and teens. Marana councilman Bob Allen will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the minor and major league games starting at 2:30 p.m.

Among the other events planned are a rock wall, flight simulator, skate board demonstration and "foot bag" - also known as hackysack. The U. S. Marines will be on hand to set up an obstacle course, while the U.S. Navy will present a helicopter demonstration.

The day will begin with a parade from 9 to 11 a.m. and will start at Marana Middle School, 11279 W. Grier Road. All events will go through 6 p.m.

It's not too late to register for the upcoming Marana Little League season, although a $20 late fee will be assessed. For more information dial 616-0168. Continental Ranch will begin its season March 11 with opening ceremonies starting at Fry's Food Store, 7870 N. Silverbell Road.

Admission to all events is free. Concessions will be available. For more information on Founders' Day go online to www.marana.com.

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