Mason heading to national tournament

Published 12:01 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

NATCHEZ — When it comes to playing summer league softball tournaments for 12-year-old Shelby Mason, steeper competition provides more enjoyment.

So when Shelby travels to Oklahoma City today for the Triple Crown Sports Fastpitch National Tournament for 12 year olds with her mother and father, Matt and Leigh Ann Mason, Shelby expects to have a blast.

“Sometimes I get nervous, but I’m not this time, even though it’s more competitive,” Shelby said. “I like how competitive it is.”

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Shelby is the second baseman for Baton Rouge’s 007 Blue softball team. The soon to be eighth grader at Adams County Christian School joined the squad after a friend of the Mason’s encouraged Shelby to try out. After she made the team, the family travels once or twice a week to Baton Rouge and has traveled to places like Alexandria, Eunice and Lafayette for tournaments. As far as Shelby’s concerned, the bigger the stage the more enjoyable the event is.

“We played in Disney World one time in Florida,” Shelby said. “Some tournaments we go to aren’t as competitive as the bigger ones. That one in Florida had a lot of competitive teams like the one we’re going to this weekend.”

Playing on a tournament team requires travel, but that’s time well spent for Shelby to test her abilities.

Traveling is something the Mason’s have had to adjust to, but Leigh Anne said it’s far from a burden.

“It’s not a hassle, because it’s what she loves to do,” Leigh Anne said. “She doesn’t enjoy cheerleading or dance.”

Dancing and cheerleading take a backseat to basketball and softball for Shelby. Because of that, Shelby’s rides literally in the backseat for tournaments across the South, enjoying the trips tournament ball has created for her.

The 007s Blue will play 9:45 a.m. Saturday in the 12 year olds bracket.