By Tamas Mondovics

With its weeklong, in-league tournaments and championship game-day fast approaching, local baseball and softball programs are pushing hard to be in top shape.

Living up to the reputation, batting was strong at both the Bloomingdale Youth Sports Association (BYSA) and the FishHawk Youth Baseball FYB fields last month.

Celebrating its tenth season as a Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth affiliate, the FishHawk Youth Sports Association (FYSA) baseball league currently boasts of approximately 550 baseball and 250 softball players, divided into six divisions from T-ball, rookie, minor, major, junior and senior, four softball divisions.

While drawing a large portion of the community to the FishHawk Sports Complex at 16120 Fishhawk Blvd. in Lithia, FYB president Mike Love said that the league is proud of its players and volunteers, who are all “showing great support” for the program that has grown to be one of the largest in the Hillsborough County. FYB is preparing to host its end of year tournament on Saturday, May 19.

In its second full season of the Cal Ripken Advanced Baseball Program FYB which hosted 70 teams from Hillsborough County, drawing players from Bloomingdale, Valrico and surrounding communities for its spring championship last month.

The league is divided into eight baseball divisions including T-ball, Rookie B, Rookie A, Minor, Major 60, Major 70, Junior, and Senior. BYSA’s talented young ladies play in four 8-U to 16-U softball divisions. BYSA is also hosting its Bambino Buddy Ball, a special needs program offered in the spring.

The teams play on eight fields located at 2215 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico, working toward their final regular season game scheduled for Saturday, May 6.

For information, visit www.bysafl.com or www.fishhawkyouthbaseball.org.