Grow­ing soft­ball in Win­ter­ton

Trin­ity South Soft­ball League look­ing for strong sec­ond sea­son

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Soft­ball is on the rise again in the Town of Win­ter­ton, and or­ga­niz­ers are look­ing to build on an ex­cit­ing 2012 sea­son that ap­pears to have in­spired a re­vival of the game.

It was the first sum­mer that promi­nently fea­tured the pop­u­lar pas­time in the town for some time as the Trin­ity South Soft­ball League kicked off its first ac­tion in years.

And it was not just mi­nor soft­ball that was played on the field. There was also a vi­brant women’s and men’s league go­ing at the same time.

All in all, over 100 ath­letes, both young and old, swept the dust off their gloves and headed down to the field.

Start­ing as young as four, the Trin­ity South Soft­ball League takes in any­one who wants to play along the shore, with some com­ing from Hant’s Har­bour, as well as other com­mu­ni­ties.

Stephanie Power Green is a mem­ber of the town’s soft­ball com­mit­tee. She called the first year of the league “fab­u­lous.”

Many of the chil­dren who took part in the league had never hit a ball be­fore in their lives, while some of the adults had not played much soft­ball prior to the start.

That meant chil­dren had to start from scratch and learn the game start­ing with the rules, and the nu­ances such as run­ning to first af­ter a hit, and throw­ing to first when a ball is fielded, to name a few.

How­ever, as the sea­son pro­gressed, Power Green could see the skill level of the ath­letes pro­gress­ing.

With each throw and swing, their tech­nique be­came more de­fined and pol­ished. With each game, their un­der­stand­ing of the rules be­came clearer, and they started to look like ball play­ers.

“To see their progress through­out the sum­mer was very re­ward­ing,” she said.

The teams also com­peted in a tour­na­ment in nearby Western Bay, as well as hosted their own tour­na­ment.

“They didn’t care if the won or not, they were just so proud that they knew their po­si­tions,” said Power Green.

Reignit­ing the pas­sion

Win­ter­ton was once known as a hot­bed of soft­ball ac­tiv­ity in the Trin­ity South re­gion.

In the 70s and 80s, fast pitch put the small town on the sport­ing map.

Now, the Kevin Pow­ers Me­mo­rial Ball Park is alive again with the sound of balls hit­ting bats and the solid whack of a soft­ball hit­ting a glove right in the palm.

The league’s Face­book page has been alive with ac­tiv­ity, and Power Green said the mid­dle group of play­ers, which is com­prised of 14and 15-year-olds, has been wait­ing pa­tiently for soft­ball

“Ev­ery night, there is some­one on the field,” she said. “That age group is very anx­ious to start.”

Some­thing new

The soft­ball com­mit­tee has some plans for the up­com­ing sea­son. First, there are plans to have shirts for each team this year. This would give the or­ga­ni­za­tion an iden­tity when go­ing to tour­na­ments.

Also, the men’s and women’s league will be­come a mixed league. Power Green said this move was done be­cause of time con­straints.

“We found that as the sum­mer moved on and it be­came fall, we didn’t have enough time to do both games in the night be­fore it would get dark,” she said.

The ball field does not have lights and a mixed league was a way of free­ing up more time for games.

Power Green also said it will be a good way to make sure each team can field enough to play each night.

There are also hopes that there will be an­other tour­na­ment hosted in Win­ter­ton, with sev­eral teams and more or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Ev­ery­one who par­tic­i­pated on our com­mit­tee, it was new for them as well,” said Power Green.

She noted the ad­di­tion of Paul Ge­orge to the com­mit­tee as a coup for the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Ge­orge has ex­pe­ri­ence with soft­ball his en­tire life and is “very good” for the com­mit­tee, said Power Green.

She noted that all mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are sup­port­ing the group.

“We’re hop­ing to get up­grades to the ball field to show pride of own­er­ship,” said Power Green.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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