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Young Ballplayers Open Their Season
Bearing brightly colored banners before them, excited youngsters and parents paraded through Riverbank from the Community Center to Castleberg Park on Saturday morning for the ceremonial throwing out of the first ball and open the youth baseball and softball season.

Representing the softball teams, city Recreation Supervisor Kerrie Webb threw a wild first pitch - she'd never thrown underhand before, she commented to the crowd - but hit the glove squarely on the second throw.

A trio of veteran baseball players took turns in throwing out the first ball for the baseball teams.

Four-year-old Miranda Temple, playing her first season in T-ball won the crowd's heart by pitching the first ball of the 2012 season.

Riverbank Youth Baseball and Softball Association president Steve Bosworth told the crowd that youth baseball games have been played in Riverbank for more than 50 years as he introduced the teams, the coaches and the sponsors.

There are about 325 youngsters of ages three to 14 playing on 31 teams this year - about the same number as last. All teams played a short exhibition game on Saturday. From now on there will be games happening practically every evening from now into mid-summer at either Castleberg Park's two diamonds or at the Association's own field on California Avenue opposite the elementary school of the same name.

The teams include the Redwings, Stars and Volcanoes of Junior T-Ball; and Bats, Hot Rods, Mud Hens, Grasshoppers, Ironbirds, Lookouts, Sandgnats and Riverbandits of Senior T-Ball.

Softball 8 and Under teams include Rice Owls, LSU Tigers and Bulldogs. The Rookies division encompasses Rockies, A's, Angels, Giants and Tigers.

Softball 10 and Under teams include Yellowjackets, Cornhuskers and Rams. Minors cover the Pirates, Rockies, Giants and Cardinals.

Softball 12 and Under teams have the Bulldogs and the Majors include Yankees and the Giants, while the Ponies cover the Yankees and Red Sox.

Among sponsors, Sno White is sponsoring the Redwings, Stanislaus Consolidated Firefighters the Stars, Play It Again Sports the Volcanoes, Golden Chopstix the Hot Rods, Pizza Plus the Mud Hens, Security Public Storage the Ironbirds, Oakridge Warehouse the Lookouts, River Oak Dental Spa the Sandgnats, City of Riverbank the Riverbandits, Honeys Air the Yellowjackets, Vintage Pool Services the Pirates, Wilkinson Electric the Bulldogs, Setliff Bros. the Yankees, Mg Vise Consulting the Giants and Home Depot of Lathrop the Red Sox.