On Saturday, six Little Girls teams and four Big Girls softball teams will begin play in the fifth annual Casey Crowder Memorial Tournament at Monroe-Ryburn Field.

On Saturday, six Little Girls teams and four Big Girls softball teams will begin play in the fifth annual Casey Crowder Memorial Tournament at Monroe-Ryburn Field.

Crowder played for the Pine Bluff American Eastern League softball team. She was reported missed on Aug. 28, 2007, after her car ran out of gas on Highway 65 near Dumas.

Her body was found six days later near a canal and she was strangled to death at the age of 17. Kenneth Osburn was charged and convicted of Crowder’s murder.

The tournament started in 2008 and is put on every year in honor of Crowder and to inform the players of how to stay safe.

“We just want to make the girls aware of the dangers out there,” said Bill Brumett, who helps run the tournament.

This year’s tournament will have an added factor as Jamie Robbins is the chairwoman of it. Robbins is Ms. UAPB and is a former Pine Bluff American Easter League All-Star, which she was a teammate of Crowder’s.

“This tournament really means a lot to me,” Robbins said. “We played on the same All-Star team and shared the same number as her, No. 4. I just it to be the best tournament yet in memory of her.”

Brumett said he is very pleased to have Robbins as the chairwoman of the tournament.

“I always try to keep the girls who played involved and when I called Jamie, she volunteered to do it,” Brumett said. “She is a get-it-done person and that’s what you look for. She is a great example to the girls.”

Robbins did not hesitate to be the chairwoman of the tournament in memory of her friend.

“I was really excited that he asked,” she said. “I am expecting the girls that didn’t know Casey to get to know her and to be more aware of their safety.”

Just like every year, the Pine Bluff police and fire department has been asked to attend the tournament.

The police will set up a booth and the fire department will bring its “fire house.”

“They will talk to the girls about being careful and safety tips they should be aware of,” Brumett said. “Don’t get in a car with someone you don’t know, always be aware of your surrounding and travel with someone. Basic things like that.”

There will be a break during Saturday’s games to present two seniors with a $1,500 scholarship from the Casey Crowder Memorial Scholarship fund.

“The scholarships mean a lot because you don’t always get the opportunity to get an athletic scholarship playing softball,” Robbins said. “This is another way to give back to them for their hard work and showing the excelling academically pays off.”

There will be six Little Girls teams, which is ages 8-12, on Saturday with the first game starting at 7:30 a.m. The Big Girls, which is ages 13-18, bracket has four teams and the first game starts at 10 a.m. There will be four Big Girls games on Saturday.

The tournament runs through Sunday with both championship games. It is a double-elimination tournament with a time-limit of one hour for each game. A machine will pitch to the girls.

Anyone that wants to donate to the program can do it on the organization’s website www.pbaells.org.