College softball tournament feeling no effect from HB2

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College teams from North Carolina and six other states are competing in Cary this wekeend.

A handful of states have blocked student-athletes from traveling to North Carolina because of House Bill 2.

But against the backdrop of the HB2 debate, the 11th Annual Grand Slam Triangle Classic is in full swing.

Fifteen college softball teams from North Carolina and six other states -- Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Georgia - are competing this weekend at Thomas Brooks Park at USA Baseball in Cary.

William Peace University in Raleigh is among the teams competing and is also hosting the event, which began Friday.

"For the most we have been very successful, still being able to have the tournament," said Charlie Dobbins, Peace head softball coach.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? SEE ALL THE TEAMS COMPETING AND OTHER INFO HERE (.pdf)

That success is a victory for these players in a moment where House Bill 2 - more commonly known as the bathroom bill - has led the NCAA to yank seven championship games in various sports from North Carolina.

NCAA officials threw a curve ball stating the law is divisive and discriminates. But supporters say the bill protects women and children.

Five states have taken the step of blocking athletes from publicly funded institutions from playing games in North Carolina: New York, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont and Connecticut.

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None of those states were scheduled to participate in this tournament.
So there's no disruption.

"This is just a preseason tournament," Dobbins said. "HB2 has only to do with NCAA championships, and this is just a preseason tournament we hold every year."

And fans are happy about that.

"I think that's good," said Shannon Maddox, a Peace University student. "You can't hurt the players that are here. They are not here because of political reasons."

Maddox attended Friday's game to watch her roommate and best friend play.

The tournament resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday and will last through Sunday.

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