New Castle County has been chosen to host the 2016 Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball Girls’ 16-U “A” Fast-Pitch Eastern National Championships this summer, County Executive Thomas P. Gordon announced Friday. This will be the tournament’s first time in Delaware.“It’s a great opportunity to show off our great sports facilities and park system while enhancing the local economy,” Gordon said, noting he looks forward to throwing the ceremonial first pitch as more than 40 top girls’ teams compete July 26-30 at Delcastle Recreational Park and other county fields. “Because this has been a collaborative effort with our tourism partners and community, we expect this tournament to be extremely successful,” Gordon added. “And we hope to host it every year.”Gordon cited county commitment to involving all ages and skill levels in sports, also praising the partnership behind a successful bid to bring the tournament to the state and county. Partners included the Delaware Sports Commission, Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau, Maryland/D.C./Delaware chapter of ASA/USA Softball and county Department of Community Services. “We saw this as a way to position Delaware as a reputable softball state at a regional and national level and serve the wants and needs of our local softball community,” said Delaware Sports Commission Executive Director Chris Giacomucci. With thousands of players and supporters due in from out-of-state, Giacomucci said, organizers already are working with the Visitors Bureau to arrange guests’ lodging.“The location is perfect,” said softball association spokesman Jack Hutcherson. The group chose Delaware “because we were impressed with the commitment and efforts by the Delaware Sports Commission and New Castle County to support hosting this event,” he said.“The facilities are great,” he added, “and we expect a successful Eastern Nationals.” Get tournament updates and more details at http://www.mddcasajo.org/2016-delaware-eastern-national-.html.