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GSWS, Day 2: A Mayor's welcome

Editor's note: Mark Ertel will be writing daily updates from the Gay Softball World Series this week.

With over 4,000 participants and fans from 37 leagues in North America, NAGAAA's Gay Softball World Series is the world's largest annual GLBT sporting event. Monday night was filled with fun, and Tuesday was filled with softball!!

The NAGAAA World Series kicked off with its opening ceremony down by the Milwaukee waterfront. The festivities began with both the American and Canadian national anthems, and the well-attended event was a complete success. Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett addressed the crowd with a rousing welcome, saying the entire city welcomed every member of NAGAAA. The Mayor even offered up some comedic ribbing of himself as a young ballplayer whose athletic career began and ended with a towering home run as a Little Leaguer. The crowd was in a festive mood and Barrett's welcome was well-received.

Lots of beer and food were served throughout the night on the grounds. The awesome "pomp and circumstance " of the NAGAAA Opening Ceremonies included the Parade of Cities, NAGAAA's Rich World Series history put to music, NAGAAAFest's mascots, Ruthie & Velveta, and the DIAMOND DIVAS featuring the legendary Thelma Houston.

Tonight, Ed Visconti and his gang of volunteers host a fun-filled talent show.

Round Robin play ended today with the C division team Hartford suffering its first defeat of the tournament: an 8-4 loss to Oklahoma. Lost opportunities were the rule of the day: When the bases were loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, Hartford failed to score a run dashing their hopes of a come-from-behind victory. New Haven, the other Southern New England softball team, won their first game in the morning beating a team from Chicago 12-4. They would play their second game to a 10-10 tie, missing out on a golden scoring opportunity leaving the game-winning run stranded on third. Hartford ended round-robin play with a 2-1 record while the New Haven team finished up at 1-1-1.

Double elimination play begins today for both C- and D-divisions. The records are wiped clean and the real tournament begins: Lose two games and your series is over. All divisions will be playing, starting with the A-division beginning its play in the morning. The excitement level is getting high; May the best team win.

PREVIOUSLY: A chilly Day 1

About our blogger: Mark Ertel will be writing daily updates of his Hartford team games and various events being held throughout the city of Milwaukee this week. The Southern New England League is comprised of teams from four New England cities: Hartford, Springfield, New Haven and New London. It is his first visit ever to the Midwest; He thought the frozen tundra was Lambeau Field in Green Bay, but he says it felt like snow there in Milwaukee on Monday (high of 66 there on Monday).