ANTIGO - When you put high-level softball teams from around Wisconsin on a newly upgraded field, you get something that looks like Sunday's Antigo Fillies Classic softball tournament.
It's the third year the classic has taken place.
Many of the best softball teams in the Northwoods were at Remington Field in Antigo, competing in a tournament designed to push them to greater heights.
"It's really good for the girls, because you get to play different teams at different levels and with different skills," said softball coach DJ DeMeyer.
DeMeyer coaches the newly-formed Northwoods Fastpitch team, a combination of girls from Rhinelander, Minocqua and Eagle River. Many of them made the trek from over an hour away.
"You really see the jump in skill level," Northwoods Fastpitch player Addi DeMeyer said. "It's fun to move around. You meet new people in the tournament, you have fun, it's just a good experience."
Recent renovations to Remington Field entice teams to participate, especially new batting cages and lights, which cost around $50,000.
"You can buy the cheap lights or you can buy the good lights and we bought the good lights," said Antigo Fillies coach Jason Swartz.
It's all to attract support from the Antigo community and teach the girls valuable lessons.
"You learn how to lose, how to be competitive, how to be a good sport, work with the other kids, just become a better person in life," Swartz said.
Antigo lost 12-8 to the visiting Northwoods team, but it's an outcome that Swartz doesn't see as a negative.
"They don't get good unless they lose some games once in a while." Swartz said.
The Northwoods team is game for a rematch.
"They're on schedule most of the time and they do everything right," DJ said of the tournament's hosts. "It's a great tournament and I'll be back again next year."
The Antigo Fillies won the under-10 and under-17 brackets of the tournament. Peshtigo won the under-12 and under-14 sections.
The Northwoods team's final outing of the summer will be in Tomahawk next weekend at the Rod Timm Memorial Tournament.