Players show mad skills at Mass Madness softball tournament

May 13, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — From the way the players drove the ball, threw fast pitches and slid into bases, some observers might be surprised to learn that they were no older than 12.

The MYSL 12u Spring Fling softball tournament, which was held on May 11 and 12 at Pierce Field, is the second one that travel softball program Mass Madness has held this year. Last weekend was the kickoff tourney for the 10 and under division. 

Mass Madness is a travel softball program based out of Middleboro that was founded in 2019 to give young female athletes a chance to play softball at a higher level, said program director Shane Oates. 

The program divisions go from eight to 18 and under, including an elite team. Oates coaches one of the older divisions. Players come from Middleboro and surrounding towns.

The objective of the program is two-fold, said Oates. “We want [athletes] to improve their softball skills so that they can play in high school and college and we want to make sure they enjoy the game, the experience and spending time with their friends.”

Mass Madness prepares players to excel at the next level, whether that be in middle school, high school or college, he said. “A lot of the older girls that play on our teams will have the opportunity to play in college if they keep pushing it.”

Teams in the 12 and ten and under divisions made it to the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively during the first two tournament weekends. 

Mass Madness’ 12u – White team suffered a tough 5-4 defeat in the quarterfinal game on Sunday, May 12 against one of the Northeast Hurricanes 12u teams from Salem, N.H. 

Mass Madness maintained the lead until late in the game. The score was tied at four in the top of the sixth inning when the Hurricanes scored a run to take the lead for good.

The town’s support for the program and its players was clear from the cheers in the crowd. Middleboro’s response to Mass Madness has been “really good,” said Oates, who specifically praised the community’s schools, parks department and “outstanding parents” for their support.