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Softball pitches a celebration for 40th anniversary

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The new post office was just about finished in downtown Loomis and a girl's fast-pitch softball league by the name of Five Cities (Loomis, Rocklin, Penryn, Newcastle and Auburn) was starting to take shape. The year was 1967. Forty years, thousands of girls and thousands of man-hours later, Five Cities Girls Fastpitch is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. From the humble beginnings of rock and weed infested fields off of King Road to what is now known as Loomis Park North, Five Cities has provided the building blocks of softball to several generations. Most girls in the league start at the age of 5 and continue to play until they are 16. The five communities that the league represents are now Loomis, Penryn, Newcastle, Auburn and Granite Bay. The league has acted as a mini-farm system over the years and is proud to share in the success of the Del Oro girls softball program and to the collegiate programs across the country. Many of the league's coaches and managers played in the league back in the '70s and '80s and have come back to coach their own daughter. The league has also had some coaches that coached their daughter, and returned years later to coach their granddaughter, including Loomis Mayor Tom Millward. With the help of parents, volunteers and countless sponsors funding, the league has been able to make improvements to the fields over the years. Batting cages, a snack bar and covered dugouts are just a few projects that have been completed over the years. Opening day for Five Cities this year is at 10:30 a.m., Saturday March 24. The community is invited to come by and reminisce with us and enjoy a game or two. Five Cities thanks all the members of the community who have helped shape the lives of so many girls in this community over the year. If you have stories that you would like to share Five Cities will be posting them their bulletin board at the park for all to read. E-mails can be sent to this year's President Steve Clark at sclark@wizwire.com.