ROGERS CITY-After spending last weekend in Alpena, several of the state's best travel softball teams are heading a little further north.
The Presque Isle Panthers Girls Travel Softball program is hosting the fourth annual PIGS tournament in Rogers City with games starting today and continuing through Sunday. Games will be played at Gilpin Field, Sports Park and Rogers City Little League fields.
Concessions will be available all weekend at Gilpin Field.
In previous years, the tournament was broken up into only two divisions-a 16U and an 18U. This year however, a 14U division has been added to the tournament and six teams will compete in it, including two squads from Alpena.
"Teams that came up in the past asked to bring their younger kids because a lot of those teams have younger divisions and they travel together," P.I. Panthers 18U coach Mike Tulgetske said. "Last year we only had 10 teams in two age brackets."
Action kicks off today at 3:15 p.m. as Team Air Bear plays Northern Heat in a 16U game. Despite a forecast that's calling for an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms, Tulgetske said all tournament games will try to be played, even if some of them have to be shortened.
Tulgetske's 18U team will only have two teams to compete with in its division, the Petoskey Blaze and the Sterling Wildcats, but the Panthers will still need to play solid softball to win.
The Panthers won the inaugural tournament in 2010 and were runners-up in 2011.
"It'll be fun, it always is. It depends on which team shows up and we still have to make the plays," Tulgetske said. "This home tournament has been great for our kids."
In the 14U divison, the six teams competing will look very familiar to one another as five of them competed in last weekend's Thunderstruck Tournament. The Alpena Shock will be looking for a solid follow-up to last weekend's runner up finish. The other teams competing are the Alpena ThunderCats, Line Drive Gold, the Ogemaw Outlaws and Moran Iron Works Vulcans Red and Black teams.
In the 16U division, the Moran Iron Works Vulcans will try to capture their second consecutive tournament title after winning in Alpena last weekend. They'll be competing with the Presque Isle Panthers, Tawas Waves, Team Air Bear, Northern Heat, Alpena ThunderCats, Ogemaw Outlaws and L'anse Creuse Bandits.
James Andersen can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.