Despite overcast skies and the near constant threat of thunderstorms, hundreds of folks turned out this weekend to participate in the Danny Branning Memorial Softball Tournament.
Thanks to the dedication of more than a dozen volunteers, the 7th annual event went off without a hitch on Saturday morning at the Honesdale High School Athletic Complex.
Danny was a well-liked, versatile athlete who excelled at baseball and football. Tragically, he was killed at the age of 16 in an automodbile accident.
The year after his untimely death, Danny’s family and friends banded together to found a scholarship fund in his memory. Since then, all proceeds from the softball tournament have been used to help an HHS senior in his/her quest for a college education.
“The community has always supported us and we are really grateful,” Diane Branning told TWI Sports. “We want to get the word out about the scholarship. It’s a wonderful way to keep Danny’s spirit alive.”
Danny’s Dad, Todd Branning was quick to echo that sentiment.
“He was a good kid,” Todd said softly. “Danny would have loved this tournament. He was so athletic. I?think this is a really good way to keep it going.”
On the Field
Saturday’s tourney featured nine elite softball teams from all over the area.
Waymart Hotel, the two time defending champion, was eliminated in the semis this year, setting up a final between Cordaro’s and Dunn’s Sawmill.
Cordaro’s ace John Blockberger drew the starting nod against Jim Watson of Dunn’s. Both hurlers went the distance, but Blockberger earned the win in a 4-2 Cordaro’s win.
Billy Marsden paced the offensive attack. The Cordaro’s catcher enjoyed a perfect 4-for-4 day at the dish in the final.
All told, there were 16 games played on three separate fields.