National youth softball championship coming to Sacramento in 2019

Local softball organizers must know how to make a good pitch.

Sacramento will host USA Softball’s 14-and-under National Championship in 2019, the organization announced Thursday. Games between July 22-28 will likely be split between sites in Roseville, Lincoln and either Sacramento Softball Complex or Whitney Ranch Park in Rocklin, said Jeff Dubchansky, USA Softball of Sacramento commissioner.

Last year’s 14-and-under competition drew 127 teams to Chattanooga, Tenn., and Dubchansky said he expects about 5,000 players and fans to flood the Sacramento region in 2019. Sacramento hosted the 2015 national championship for players 12 and under, though only 55 teams participated, and nearly 600 athletes competed in a USA Softball 14U regional championship in Roseville this summer.

Teams must win regional competitions to earn an invitation to the national stage, and several decline every year due to travel costs, Dubchansky said. He estimated 85 percent of teams would come from west of the Rocky Mountains in 2019, including eight to 10 from the Sacramento metropolitan area.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel