SOUTH-CENTRAL : Softball Teams Will Go to Bat for Unity

In an effort to strengthen ties established between residents of South-Central and Simi Valley after the 1992 civil unrest, the two communities will square off in the third America's Games softball tournament Saturdayat Simi Valley.

"In the two years since we started, we've set up a lot of communication between the kids of both communities," said Jan Hardy, a South-Central resident and one of the organizers of the event.

The Los Angeles Community All Stars and the Simi Valley All Stars will play at Rancho Santa Susana Park beginning at 1:30 p.m. The festivities begin at 10:30 a.m.

There will be a softball game at 11:30 a.m. between children from Foshay Junior High in West Adams and students from Valley View Junior High.

Last year, the Simi Valley adult team won, 15-4, at Jesse Owens Park, while the year before South-Central won 6-1.

About 2,000 are expected to attend the festivities, which will include game booths, a children's pavilion, free food and free transportation.

"We have 17 buses filled already. We don't charge because most of the people that go don't have the money to spend," said Hardy. "But we are going to have some T-shirts for sale with the America's Games logo and a big purple ribbon on it for urban peace."

The games' motto: "Urban vs. suburban softball . . . One world, one people . . . It's got to start somewhere."

Information: (213) 295-6002.

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