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Beast of the Southeast softball tournament draws players from 8 to 18

More than 100 girls, young women compete at Okeeheelee Park
Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 28, 2024

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The annual Beast of the Southeast fast-pitch softball tournament, a momentous occasion for girls 8 through 18 across Florida, witnessed them strapping on their cleats and stepping onto the diamond as they played for a championship.

Field crews prepared the pitcher's mound Sunday morning, and more than 100 determined young women took to the diamond at Okeeheelee Park, their eyes set on the Southeast Championship of Florida.

"Watching these girls grow up from 6 to 7-year-old T-ballers all the way through middle school, high school, travel ball and get to college," Steve Schiller, the Beast of the Southeast organizer, said.

Steve Schiller, who is the Beast of the Southeast softball organizer,has seen girls who first started in T-ball now in high school. April 28, 2024
Steve Schiller, who is the Beast of the Southeast softball organizer,has seen girls who first started in T-ball now in high school.

Schiller, the visionary behind the softball tournament, revealed that the event has been a profound force in Florida's sporting landscape for more than 30 years. It has not only provided a platform for young women to compete against the state's best but also played a pivotal role in shaping their character, instilling in them the values of teamwork and sportsmanship.

"It provides a sense of responsibility to get on base and or to help out your team and learn leadership and teamwork," Aryanna Nord, a tournament standout from West Palm Beach, said.

Aryanna Nord, a pitcher and shortstop, is a promising talent at 13 who has already attracted the attention of several local high schools. April 28, 2024
Aryanna Nord, a pitcher and shortstop, is a promising talent at 13 who has already attracted the attention of several local high schools.

Nord, a pitcher and shortstop, is a promising talent at 13 who has already attracted the attention of several local high schools eager to recruit her as the future face of their softball program.

She said the attention is nice, but her current focus is bringing home the hardware and uplifting her teammates.

"Pushing my teammates to be the best that we can be and making sure we're all giving max effort as much as possible and keeping my teammates up," Nord said.

Nord's teammate Cameron Vickers, also from West Palm Beach, expects to play in high school as well, but her start in softball was two years ago.

Cameron Vickers began playing softball two years ago. April 28, 2024
Cameron Vickers began playing softball two years ago.

"I started playing when my grandfather passed away," Vickers said. "It was always a sport we enjoyed watching, so I started playing for him."