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Ding-A-Lings set for annual tourney

They're back.

And maybe traveling farther than ever.

The 37th annual Ding-A-Ling softball tournament is this weekend in Yatesboro and a team is traveling from from Hilton Head, S.C., a trip that is nearly 750 miles (one way), to add their names to the long history of the tourney.

"They heard about our tournament and wanted to try it," Ding-A-Lings member Red Polinsky said. "One of the guys used to live here and he is going to bring some friends here. And I hear they are pretty good."

What attracts teams from such a great distance is Polinsky and his Dings put together maybe one of the most detailed tournaments with records of just about anything one could think of - including on base percentage.

"We still have the first scorecard back in 1968," Polinsky said. "Everybody who has batted, we have it."

Another team is coming from Steubenville, Ohio, but most come from around Western Pennsylvania including a dynasty from the late 1980s that is making a return trip to this year's summer classic.

Armstrong Auto won the tourney twice and took four second place finishes in a six year span from 1985 to 1990.

Also disc jockey Big Moose of Q102 in DuBois will be broadcasting live at the tournament on Sunday morning.

The Dings use the softball tournament as their major fundraiser for the year and they do give back to the community.

This year, the organization will hand out three scholarships to West Shamokin students. Kayla Kirkpatrick, Justin Stewart and Tyler Altmeyer will be honored before the noon game on Sunday.

The 30-member club also donates money to other youth sport organizations in the Rural Valley area.

The group has also donated money to Allison McCullough to go play softball 'down under' in Australia.

"We try to help out everybody," Polinsky said. "A lot of good has come out of it."

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