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Softball tourney supports prevention of child abuse, starts Saturday

For the Children tournament turns nine this weekend
Stryker and Kilowatt Fields are the home of summer softball in Prineville.
   The games organized are part of the men's and women's softball leagues and played mainly for the recreation of the adults.
   Every once in a while, though, a game or a tournament is played for a different reason.
   This weekend in its ninth year, a women's league tournament will be played, not for the adults, but instead for the children.
   The annual For the Children Softball Tournament kicks off Saturday at 8 a.m. Games will be played every hour and a half on both fields, with Saturday's final game set to begin at 8 p.m.
   The event continues Sunday with game play at 8 a.m. and will end with the final game at 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. if necessary.
   "The sole purpose of the event is to prevent and to help detect child abuse in central Oregon," explained Dee Lampert, president of the Prineville Women's Athletic Association.
   Expected in this year's field are 12 teams, up two from last year's involvement. Seven local teams are scheduled to compete, as are four from Bend and one from Klamath Falls.
   Mike's Fence Center of Bend, will be in the field once again this year, back to defend its championship from one year ago.
   In addition to softball action, prizes have been donated by local merchants for a raffle. Tickets will be sold throughout the tournament, with the drawing being held Sunday afternoon.
   The proceeds of the tournament, Lampert said, will help fund training education and equipment, in an effort to prevent child abuse in central Oregon.