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"Fridays OU-Texas showdown at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium had (almost) all the feelings of a Womens College World Series game. Traffic along 50th Street was at a standstill. Fans poured into the complex to fill USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. The Sooners winning. About the only things missing were the temporary bleachers beyond the temporary outfield fence and the covering on that temporary wall. Back-to-back no-doubt home runs from Tiare Jennings and Haley Lee in the second inning powered the top-ranked Sooners to an 8-1 victory over the Longhorns in front of an NCAA-record regular-season crowd of 8 steel grating systems ,930. The previous NCAA record for attendance at a regular-season softball game was 5,724, set by Fresno State in a 2000 doubleheader against Arizona. Here are four takeaways from the Sooners win. More: What makes OU softball's Alyssa Brito thrive in big environments? 'Shes not afraid' In pregame introductions, Texas coach Mike White was booed heartily by OU fans. Every time White emerged from the dugout during the game, he was hit with another shower of boos. Discuss a call with the umpires? More boos. Any Longhorns coach is automatically an object of Sooners fans derision, but Whites comments this week made him even more of a target. They find ways to keep reloading and Im not quite sure all of it us, uh, whatever, White said in a video that was posted to Twitter by an Austin television station. Im not going to say anymore. White said after the game that his comments were misconstrued, coming near the end of an interview that lasted 15-20 minutes. I praised Oklahoma, White said. I said that part of Oklahoma is theyre underrated \xa0theyre underappreciated \xa0for the defense. I think their defense is really awesome. And at the end of the interview that was going down, the guys said something about just reloading it. I said, Yeah, they definitely have reloaded, but Im not going to get into that, and so now it gets blown up like Im calling Coach (Patty) Gasso a cheater, which is nothing of the sort. Ive got to live with it. And if Coach Gasso thinks I called her a cheater, I apologize. I did not. I did not call her a cheater. Gasso was asked about the comments after the game. Im not surprised but I take the high road, she said. I dont have to answer to anybody. Ive just got to look in the mirror and I am very comfortable when I do that. White said he did not address the comments with Gasso before or after the game. No,930. The previous NCAA record for attendance at a regular-season softball game was 5 hexagonal wire mesh quotes , he said. I think shes upset. But again, I didnt really say anything maybe tomorrow. More: Tramel's ScissorTales: Hall of Fame Stadium a balm for OU softball ticket shortage The Sooners quickly found themselves in a hole Friday, when Leighann Goode drove Jordy Bahls third pitch of the game out over the left-center field wall. But then OU played the anything you can do, I can do better game. The Sooners tied the game in the bottom of the first on Tiare Jennings single to center to score Jayda Coleman just two batters into the bottom of the inning. But OUs real response came in the second. First Jennings blasted Estelle Czechs first offering to the warning track far beyond the temporary outfield fencing, where it hit the warning track and bounced over the permanent wall. Jennings three-run homer put the Sooners up 4-1. The next batter, Haley Lee, blasted Czechs 0-1 pitch to nearly the same part of the park, also hitting the permanent warning track and bounding over the wall. No doubt the strong winds helped drive Jennings and Lees shots farther, but they were both going out regardless of the wind conditions at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Haley Lees was an absolute missile, Sooners coach Patty Gasso said. Those were just absolute, smoked missiles. More: OU softball rewind: Alex Storako helps Sooners extend winning streak over Iowa State With the game tied in the top of the second inning, left-fielder Rylie Boone came up big on back-to-back plays at the wall. First, Bella Dayton sent Boone drifting back to her right, leaping to snag Daytons fly just in front of the wall. Three pitches later, Leighann Goode \xa0who led off the game with a homer \xa0hit a shot that sent Boone running even more. But Boone snagged Goodes blast at the fence to keep the game tied. Theres no better feeling as a pitcher when you see her keep running, and she keeps getting closer to the fence and youre just like, Oh no, oh no, and then she just jumps up there and grabs it,724 door mat steel grating factory , Gasso said. The Sooners once again committed no errors. OU entered the weekend leading the nation with a .991 fielding percentage. More: How did OU football's Anton Harrison become a likely early NFL Draft pick? Credit Bill Bedenbaugh Texas had a chance to build some momentum once again after the Sooners took a 5-1 lead in the second. It looked like the Longhorns were going to have two on with no out after Mia Scott drew a walk and Alyssa Washington appeared to reach first on a fielders choice. But OU coach Patty Gasso didnt get a great look at the play, but looked down and saw second baseman Tiare Jennings sock was ripped. I felt like there could be something else to that, Gasso said. So it was worth them checking. I felt it was a big start to a big inning if they would have been able to keep the runners up first and second. So that was a huge turning point in the game for us. After the review, both Scott and Washington were called out, as Scott was ruled to have slid outside the basepath. It was just a mess, Texas coach Mike White said. White said he hadnt seen the replay yet. We certainly dont teach our players to go in dangerously or try to hurt anybody, White said. If thats the case, well have to talk to Mia about that.\n", 'It took a village, but the Casa Grande High School girls softball team finally has its outfield fence. The Vine Valley Athletic League champion Gauchos dedicated their new permanent fence last week and contributors lined up practically from baseline to baseline to be acknowledged for their contributions. Billy Brody, in his first year as Casa Grande head coach, said the fence has been at least eight years in coming. It just kept getting pushed down the line, he said. The girls kept looking at the boys baseball field and asking, Why cant we have something like that? They kept getting every excuse in the book. The girls gave the school a little extra incentive when they wrote Tittle IX on the boys diamond near the shortstop position. Title IX is federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government. Brody said the fence is a step toward balancing the inequality that still exists between how girls sports and boys sports are treated. It is a problem in all sports in all areas, he said. It isnt just a problem in Petaluma. It is all over. Brody said the project couldnt have happened without the strong support of the Casa Grande school administration, especially Principal Dan Ostermann and Assistant Principal Erika Noone. Their support was vital, he said. Brody, who has two girls on this seasons team, and his players finally not only got some answers they got a fence. Although it wasnt in place until the final regular-season home game of the season. It is now ready for the league tournament and North Coast Section playoffs. Among the many community organizations who donated labor, set by Fresno State in a 2000 doubleheader against Arizona. Here are four takeaways from the Sooners win. More: What makes OU softball's Alyssa Brito thrive in big environments? 'Shes not afraid' In pregame introductions oem 1.8m high farm fencing , Hansel Auto Group, Henris Roofing, Ghilotti Brothers, Water Savers, De Nova Homes, Argonaut Construction and Golden State Lumber. The project included not only the fence, but also a new sprinkler system around the diamond infield. The Gauchos dedicated the fence in the best way possible, by beating Napa 4-0 to clinch the league championship. Fittingly, the first home run hit over the new fence was by Casa Grandes all-time home run hitter Jamie McGaughey. Casa Grande combined the fence dedication with Senior Day, honoring the teams three senior leaders - Cara Broadhead, Kaden Brody and Jamie McGaughey. Broadhead has played both golf and softball for four years. She is headed to Cal State San Marcos next fall to study molecular and cellular biology. Brody is going to Santa Rosa Junior College where she will focus on business before transferring to cosmetology school. In addition to playing softball, she has played golf and basketball at Casa. McGaughey is bound for the University of Hawaii on a softball scholarship. She will study business and communications. She played basketball and volleyball throughout her time at Casa Grande. The good news about the big day at Casa Grande was that the Gauchos managed to dedicate their new fence, honor their seniors and win a championship-clinching game all under a dark spring sky that held off raining until the festivities were complete.\n', "Principal Park, the home of the Chicago Cubs Triple-A affiliate the Iowa Cubs, suffered significant damage\xa0when the teams new and temporary batters eye fell\xa0into and\xa0brought down the parks centerfield fence during Tuesday night's storms. Iowa Cubs vice president and assistant general manager Randy Wehofer said team officials found out around 8:30 p.m.\xa0Tuesday\xa0about the damage that includes the outfield wall structure between the stadiums suites in left field to the party deck area in right field. Wehofer said rain got under the batters eye which gave way and hit the back of the outfield wall, causing the damage. Wind gusts at Des Moines International Airport were in the low 50s on Tuesday, and\xa0the storm had sustained winds of nearly 40 miles per hour. Its just unfortunate, Wehofer said. So, were working on getting it cleaned up and had crews from the city and different partners for electric, the scaffolding and all kinds of things. The batters eye, made of scaffold and a wind screen, was put up last month so the team could adequately meet the facilities standards set forth in the Professional Development License between the Iowa Cubs and Chicago Cubs. The PDL, which kept Iowa an affiliate of Chicago, outlined requirements including stadium upgrades that teams had to make. The addition of the batter's eye, to block out the Iowa State Capitol building, was one of the requirements. The team planned to address it in the offseason but decided to move forward with a temporary one during this season. Another area the team planned to address was the parks old wall. Wehofer said the wall, which still had painted signs on it underneath the padding, is part of the first phase of renovation plans. Its old, Wehofer said. Iowa Cubs employees were at the park at 8 a.m. Wednesday, cleaning up the damage. Wehofer said. The plan is to build a new temporary batters eye and a chain-link fence with some padding and a wind screen. Wehofer didn't provide any estimates for how much the damage may cos. But the\xa0hope is that it wont impact Iowas schedule. The team is on the road and doesnt come back to Principal Park until July 12. Everybody seems to have a good understanding of what our deadlines are, Wehofer said. Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018\xa0and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at tbirch@dmreg.com or 515-284-8468. Follow him on Twitter @TommyBirch .\n", 'By Rick Assad Its something fairly simple yet it changes the dynamic of the game of softball by its mere presence. And its also long overdue. Its a portable outfield fence at Olive Park that Providence High bought for $4,500 and will allow Burroughs the use of it when the Pioneers are not. Burroughs hopes to get its own portable fence in the future but did install a bullpen fence. Having a fence equal having a softball field. Without the fence, its just a field you play softball on, Providence coach Manny Travieso said. Although we are just getting the okay to put our fence up, we are not getting a bullpen fence as of yet. This is something we will discuss in the near future. Travieso said that a fence legitimizes a ball thats been hit hard rather than roll past the outfielder. Besides making it a real softball field, a player that hits it out, earns her runs batted in and earns the home run she deserves, like in a real softball field, he said. We had opposing teams okay it so far that its a home run because an out is 275 feet away. Its simply a part of the game as the bases. Doug Nicol has been the longtime Burroughs softball coach and also said an outfield fence makes the field legitimate. As of now, we are sharing with Providence in a joint venture. However, the plan is to get our own fence next year and use it at all our games, he said. I am not sure when itll be in and when we can put it up, but hopefully before the end of this season. Burroughs has installed a bullpen fence which is the first step. Getting the bullpens were essential, from a practical development standpoint, and a safety standpoint, Nicol said. Now we can really focus on our pitcher/catcher sessions and get the most out of our workouts, as well as our players being safe during games. Likewise, Nicol also feels that a fence makes a well hit ball a real homer. The game is only true with a fence. We play 80 percent of our games with a fence and it rewards players for doing things right, he said. Also, CIF playoff games need to be played on fields with fences the farther you advance. Last year, we had to move our CIF semifinal game to another facility because we didnt have a fence. Once our fence arrives, we shouldnt have that issue anymore. Nicol added: At the end of the day, all baseball and softball games at legitimate facilities are played at fields with fences, he said. Girls can hit home runs and doubles in the gap that are doubles and dont roll forever for home runs. It just keeps the game truer to the way it is supposed to be played. Getting a fence wasnt easy and it took a great deal of time and effort and money. Something long overdue is seen behind a Providence outfielder during a recent game. The school paid for the fence and Burroughs will be able to use it until it gets its own fence. (Photo courtesy Manny Travieso) In late 2019, when I took over as the varsity head coach for softball at Providence, I asked about a fence as soon as I found out we would be playing our home games at Olive Park, Travieso said. Right away, Providence said yes. Burbank Parks and Recreation said no. After the pandemic year in 2021, I went back to Parks and Recreation and asked again, they said no. If they would allow us to have a fence, they would have to allow everyone to have a fence, they said. I dont like to take no for an answer, so I asked again in early 2022 and I asked to talk to anyone else that would listen, as I want to fight this no. Travieso went on: I talked via Zoom to a higher up and she said no because Parks and Recreation did not want holes on the outfield. So, I found a standalone fence and asked again, he said. They said no because of insurance issues. I took the no as No matter what I ask, as a private high school, we were going to be told no. Travieso then had an idea. So, I contacted coach Doug, and we had coffee. I wanted to join forces, as I knew this way, we might be able to do something. He explained how he has been fighting for a fence and common-sense things for his softball team for more than a decade! I said Providence would buy us a fence and we would let you guys borrow it when we are not using it until you guys get your own, but we must get this approved, he said. Doug and I went to a Board of Education meeting and to our surprise, they were very receptive to helping, as it seemed they didnt know about all of the asking I did. Grace Workman is a junior pitcher/first baseman at Providence and is happy that a portable outfield fence is now a part of the field she\xa0plays on. I am very excited to have a fence on our home field, she said. It sets our field apart from the rest of the fields at Olive Park. The whole school supports our softball program and I am so thankful to our athletic director, James Jimenez and all the facility and staff at Providence for purchasing the fence for the team. The strength of two coaches likely made the outfield fence a reality, according to Travieso, whose daughter, Lilly, is a junior infielder for the Cornell University womens softball team. Providence said yes from day one to a fence request. This is an expensive fence, but Providence understood from day one, this was important for the team, he explained. Providence baseball plays at Foy Park with a fence, our softball team will also have a fence. Having an advocate for female athletes like me, thanks to my daughters foundation, ELLA (created due to the inequalities she saw in Burbank) and the weight of two high school head coaches, I believe it tipped the scale. An outfield fence brings a new dimension to the game of softball at Olive Park for the Pioneers and Bears. (Photo courtesy Manny Travieso) Nicol chimed in with his side of the fence story. We have been in discussions for over a year on all of this, but it really only came to fruition after our players and families attended a Board of Education meeting and shined a light on the problems we were having getting things done, and also after we voiced our concerns about safety issues as well, he said. What was Nicols capacity in getting the fence? My role was really only as a facilitator in communicating with our players that they needed to advocate for themselves and be vocal in their need to be treated with more respect and dignity, and to be treated equally to their counterparts at Burroughs, he said. Throughout the years, there has always been complaining but no action. This group decided to take action and thought it was important to send a message and set an example to advocate for themselves by going to the Board of Education and making themselves heard. I only played a small part.\xa0 All of the credit goes to the players, families and supporters who went to speak that night and be heard. Nicol added: After we attended the meeting and made our feeling known, there was immediate action from both the City of Burbank, and the Board of Education. It was obvious that our kids advocating for themselves made a difference and people saw the struggles we were having, he said. There is some new leadership in the district that really came together and made a lot of this happen. In coordination with the City of Burbank, they made it happen. The main players in all of this\xa0were Diego Cevallos, the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department with the City of Burbank, as well as all of the Board of Education members. None of\xa0this would have happened without support from District staff Dennis Maxwell and Andrew Cantwell. They were sensational in meeting with our softball staff\xa0and hearing our concerns. After that, the ball started rolling really fast and things happened. I cant thank them enough. Its a good thing that besides Travieso and Nicol, other key people were there when the chips were down. A combination of new people in Parks and Recreation like Diego and the new president and others at the city council with the understanding how important it is to give these tough female athletes equality was simply a commonsense decision, Travieso said. Patti Workman is an administrator at Providence and an assistant coach for the softball team and also appreciates the new fence. Prior to yesterdays game, Providence was the only school on our schedule that did not have an outfield fence, she said recently. I believe having an outfield fence is extremely important as it defines the field and provides an authentic playing environment for our team. It really does take a village to get things accomplished and that goes for getting the long overdue portable outfield fence and a permanent bullpen at Olive Park.\n', 'Tennis courts at Conard and Hall have been resurfaced, but the project wont be finalized until June. Conards tennis courts are ready for use, but the final playing surface still needs to be applied once the weather warms up. Photo credit: Ronni Newton By Ronni Newton Several capital improvement projects that affect West Hartfords recreational facilities are in progress or will soon be underway, including the replacement of tennis courts at both high schools and the repair of the pool at Eisenhower Park. Reconstruction of 24 tennis courts 12 each at Conard and Hall high schools began in September 2022 , with the majority of the cost associated with the project funded by a $3 million grant approved by the State Bond Commission last March. Replacement of the courts\xa0benefits the high school tennis teams as well as the public. The courts are free and accessible when not in use by the high school teams, and also serve as the site for state high school tennis championship competition. Director of Leisure and Social Services Helen Rubin-Turco said that as the towns tennis and basketball courts have reached the end of their lifespan, they are being replaced with a surface that utilizes new technology. Post-tensioned concrete is a rigid, reinforced concrete pavement, Rubino-Turco said. Its design eliminates the jointing and cracking that often plague asphalt courts, with a lifespan almost twice as long as an asphalt court. Rubino-Turco said the tennis courts at both Conard and Hall are nearly finished, and the nets have been installed and temporary lines have been painted so they can be used by the teams for the spring season. She said the final playing surface will be installed in June, once the temperatures are warmer. The temporary surface doesnt meet regulation standards, however, so the high schools varsity teams will be playing their matches at alternative sites this spring. Conards boys and girls varsity teams will play at Wolcott Park, while Hall boys and girls will play at the Hartford Tennis Club on Flagg Road. Two courts at Buena Vista and two courts at Whiting Lane will be back-up locations for varsity matches, Rubino-Turco said. The JV and freshman teams will play on the high school courts. Rubino-Turco said Leisure Services and the West Hartford Public Schools athletic director have traditionally worked closely together regarding use of athletic facilities, and for years Wolcott Park has been used by Conards tennis program, usually for the lower level players. In addition to the combined 24 new tennis courts at Conard and Hall, the town has replaced tennis and basketball courts at Wolcott Park, the Buena Vista Recreation Complex, Whiting Lane Park, and Kennedy Park. At both Wolcott and Buena Vista, six pickle ball courts have been installed in place of two of the tennis courts. Another high-profile project related to a West Hartford recreational facility is replacement of the pool and pool house at Eisenhower Park. A serious problem was found with the Eisenhower pool in the spring of 2021, and it has been closed to the public for the past two summers. Replacement was originally planned so that the new pool and pool house would be ready for use in the summer of 2023, but in the fall Rubino-Turco told the Town Councils Human and Community Services Committee that bids had come in much higher than expected . The lowest of three or four bids the town received for replacement of the pool and pool house was $4.4 million, Town Manager Rick Ledwith said, and that was far in excess of the $2.5 million the town had budgeted through he capital improvement fund. Significant damage to the Eisenhower Pool includes a crack along the center seam. (Quarter included for perspective). Photo courtesy of West Hartford Leisure Services (we-ha.com file photo) It is our intention to temporarily fix the pool this spring to make the pool operable for the summers of 2023 and 2024, Rubino-Turco told We-Ha.com this week. The repair to the pool will involve saw-cutting the section where the crack is located, patching it, and re-caulking the entire bottom of the pool, at a cost of roughly $40,000, according to Ledwith. We plan to rebid the construction project this spring for a construction period between August 2024 and May 2025, Rubino-Turco said. Another recent upgrade to a town sports facility is the installation of temporary fencing at the Conard baseball field. Conard does not have a permanent outfield fence, but the baseball teams booster club and other volunteers installed a temporary fence for the season last weekend. The banners were donated by MLB coach and Conard alum Gary LaRocque. A temporary outfield fence has been installed at the Conard baseball field. Courtesy photo A temporary outfield fence has been installed at the Conard baseball field. Courtesy photo A temporary outfield fence has been installed at the Conard baseball field. Courtesy photo A temporary outfield fence has been installed at the Conard baseball field. Courtesy photo Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Has newsletter so youll always be in the know about whats happening in West Hartford! C lick the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.\n', 'Eureka officials have agreed to spend $2,571,553 to bring new life to Lions and Legions parks. On Jan. 3, the Eureka Board of Aldermen approved five contracts, each by a 4-0 vote, to make improvements to the two parks and the surrounding area. Kevin Kilpatrick and Maria Ascrizzi were absent from the meeting. The project kickoff meeting was scheduled for Jan. 10, and the improvements are expected to be completed by Sept. 1. Work includes renovations to the existing park trails, paths, roadways and parking lots. New bathrooms and pavilions will be built, along with major improvements to the ballfields. These park improvements are very exciting to see, said Kristin Christenson, director of the Parks and Recreation Department. The ballfield improvements will elevate our youth sport offerings and allow us to bring in more tournaments throughout the year and give our local players much improved fields to enjoy. The parks are located across the street from each other on Bald Hill Road with Legion Park at 333 Bald Hill Road and Lions Park at 340 Bald Hill Road in the southeast section of the city near Hwy. 109 and Old Town. Plans for Lions Park call for the construction of a new pavilion, the installation of permanent outfield fences with warning tracks at the four baseball fields, the installation of two new foul poles in each outfield, the construction of a double batting cage, improvements to a turnaround area connected to the L-shaped parking lot and modifications to the parking lot entrances and exits. The Lions Park improvements are going to be a great amenity for the city and also greatly enhance the baseball experience for our youth teams in the area, Mayor Sean Flower said. In Legion Park, the plans include building new restrooms and a pavilion, adding about 49 parking spots between two parking lots and creating an athletic practice field near the playground in the north part of the park. The additional parking is always needed and will greatly benefit not only ball games, but also city events and community center rentals, Christenson said. Both parks will see dugout upgrades on all seven baseball fields, new shade structures behind all seven home plates and the creation of 4,660 linear feet of trails that will surround the parks and connect to existing trails that lead into the parks. I am most excited about the trail connectivity, Christenson said. It will allow parents to be able to exercise and enjoy our parks while their kids are practicing (baseball). Among the contracts the city approved on Jan. 3 was a $2,225,000 construction contract to Bombshell Construction Services of Wildwood for the park renovations and additions. The work at Lions Park will cost $1,090,000, and the work for Legion Park will cost $1,060,000. Another $50,000 is included in that contract for possible additional construction due to unforeseen conditions, and the remaining $25,000 is for a payment and performance bond. Bombshell provided the lowest of seven bids for the work. Navigate Building Solutions in Brentwood was awarded a $108,815 contract to oversee the project, provide preliminary logistics planning, review daily logs, give project budget updates and ensure site quality control. Archimages in Kirkwood already had finished architectural, structural and civil design plans for both parks on Nov. 18, which cost $139,093. Then, on Jan. 3, the board awarded the company an additional $27,000 contract for more design services, including $15,750 for Lions Park and $11,250 for Legion Park. The city also awarded SCI Engineering in St. Charles a $41,945 contract to provide inspection and testing services during the project. Some of the work includes compaction, testing for site grading, foundation-bearing soil observation and concrete, masonry and reinforcing steel testing. Eureka has worked with Navigate Building Solutions, Archimages and SCI Engineering before, so the city was not required to seek bids for their professional services. In addition, the city will pay Planning Design Studio in St. Louis $29,700 to provide master planning services for native plantings along Flat Creek, as well as concept development plans for 219 Central Ave., 100 City Hall Drive and several nearby Allen Road properties. Planning Design Studio was chosen from among six companies that answered a request for qualifications for the project. The replanting along Flat Creek will provide a visual barrier from the sanitary sewer plant, and also stabilize and green-up the areas along the Flat Creek Trail to make them look very appealing, Flower said.\n', 'Volta Park neighbors, park users and youth baseball fans got an official nod on March 1 from D.C.s Department of Parks and Recreation to their long-pursued dreams and initiatives to reconstruct and improve the baseball diamond long used by youth teams and families at the southwest corner of Volta Park at 34th Street and Volta Place NW. The reconstruction phases for the diamond and perhaps a few small bleachers as well as water fountains are being scheduled and could be begun in the fall. Taking questions and walking about the park, D.C. Parks and Recreation construction oversight officials met with approximately 50 residents and members of the Friends of Volta Park Association who are concerned about the condition of the green space. Some of the bigger challenges such as drainage of the diamonds sloping back field have been resolved, said project manager Peter Nohrden. Extensive French drains basically trenches filled with gravel that can drain excess rain and irrigation water off the diamonds field through a \xa0channel will be built to prevent dangerous top soil and grass erosion and pitting. Nohrden added: A permanent outfield fence about four feet tall will be built along the north end of the playing area separating park recreation and dog exercise areas from the youth baseball playing field. The type and style of fencing will be determined from community input. The $700,000 budget is dedicated exclusively to permanent improvements to the baseball diamond, not other park enhancements, said DPR Community Engagement Manager Christopher Dyer. The diamond is only for youth softball and baseball youth groups and not for any adult team practices or games. Questions about park usage by dog owners were inevitable from many of the residents at the meeting with dogs of all sizes and breeds sitting patiently at the end of their leashes as their owners sat on the old baseball team benches. Building a formal dog park is complicated and expensive and not included in this project, Nohrden said.\xa0 Look, Im not blind.\xa0 I see people take their dogs off leash when they are at Volta Park, and there will be no law enforcement squads here to do anything about that.\xa0 We expect people to be reasonable. As he spoke, there were, in fact, several dogs off leash nearby. For more information, as well as questions and suggestions about Volta Park, contact Community Engagement Manager Christopher Dyer 202-702-9453 or Christopher.dyer@dc.gov . View all posts Share via:\n', 'The Casa Grande girls softball team is getting a long-desired permanent outfield fence. The question is: Will it be able to contain the long drives expected to come from the hard-hitting Gaucho lineup. The administration and the community have really come together to help with the fence. The girls are really excited. It makes them feel better about themselves and their team, said coach Billy Brody. Inside the new fence, the Gauchos will have a team with only three seniors, but one with strong pitching and potentially heavy hitting. That theyre young, doesnt mean the Gauchos are inexperienced with many of its underclassman returning after playing for the varsity last season. Casa is, in the words of Brody, gifted in pitching, led by junior Marissa Brody, a strong athlete who threw for the Gauchos last season. Georgia Moss, is also a varsity veteran, although only a sophomore. Brody is also impressed with sophomore Lila Partridge. Expected to split time behind the plate are talented freshman Abby McSweeney and junior Hannah Edwards. First base will be in hard-hitting hands with senior team captain Cara Broadhead along with Brody and Moss when they arent pitching. Broadhead will also get playing time in right field. Another senior captain, Kaden Brody, will be at second base, along with sophomore Alex Giacomini and freshman Maeve Broadhead. Sophomore Lauren Ketuchu will anchor the infield defensively at shortstop. We expect her to take on a leadership role in the infield, said Brody. She has great defensive skills and knowledge of the game. Then there is senior Jamie McGaughey at third base. She is quite simply one of the best softball players in the Redwood Empire. The senior team captain hit .648 last season. That is not her on-base percentage, it is her batting average. Her on-base percentage was .716. She had 35 hits in 18 games, including 6 home runs, 3 triples and 6 doubles. She is also an outstanding defensive third baseman. She can definitely play at the next level, said Brody. To top it all off, she is a great teammate. She brings out the best in the other players and She is a great person, Brody said. Junior Kyra Jensen is being counted on for outfield play. Several other freshmen Lucy Da Roza, Layce Carlomagno, Veribuca Bubez-Miller and Aubrie Zavala will vie for playing time. I think we will have a good team up and down the lineup, the coach said. They are beginning to bond and play for one another. Bonding is in keeping with Brodys tripod theory. No. 1 is you have to have fun. No.2 is you have to give 100 percent all the time. No. 3 is you have to be a good teammate, and that goes for the families as well as the players. If one leg fails we all fail, he explained. In keeping with their commitment to the community, Gaucho players recently held a clinic for Petaluma Girls Softball Association and Steal Breeze players with high school players working with the younger girls on hitting, fielding and pitching fundamentals.\n', 'Jesse Lavender Enhancements\xa0will begin at Lehigh Acres Park as soon as the end of July. The County Lee Board of County Commissioners approved the measure Tuesday, including an expansion, due to a vacant lot of 41 acres. It is slated to start either later on in July, or August, Parks Director Jesse Lavender said. The Lehigh Acres Park was donated to the county by the Lehigh Cooperation in 1976-1977. The park had tennis courts, a baseball and softball field in 1977. In 1986, a pool was added. We have done some updates to the playground over the years, but nothing substantial like this, he said. The project, which has a price tag of $16.6 million, has a tentative completion of December 2023. The construction manager of the project is Chris-Tel Company of Southwest Florida. Lavender said the project is much needed not only to expand, but to provide separate facilities, such as fields for both the football and baseball league. What happens and what is still happening until this project is done is football takes over all the fields in the fall and baseball takes it back over after football is done, he said. Florida can play sports year round. There are a lot of scheduling issues because both groups wanted field space during certain times of the year. It will completely alleviate that in the future. According to the county, the Lehigh Acres Raiders Football League will provide the kitchen equipment for the concession building, as well as scoreboards for the football fields. The expansion will also help the Lehigh Acres pool, as it is probably the most used pool in the county. The help comes in with additional parking on the increased acreage. When you have all those different groups at the park at the same time there is generally not enough parking, Lavender said. The vacant land will help with the expansion of three football fields with lighting, permanent restroom facilities, a disc golf course, concession building, locker rooms, paved parking lot, pavilions and nature trails. Lavender said there is also some potential for new fishing areas for the public to try out. Its going to be a really nice addition, he said. Its really a great enhancement for Lehigh Acres. The project also includes enhancements to the existing park of four pickleball courts, as well as the relocation of the batting cage and the construction of a covered maintenance building. They are going to have to do some work to the large baseball field, but it shouldnt impact anything but that field, Lavender said. Right now we have a large high school sized baseball field. The outfield of that field is where the football stadium is. We are putting a more permanent baseball fence there. The pickleball courts (will be) added in that location that we dont need anymore for baseball. Lehigh Acres Park is at 1400 W. 5th St.\n', 'Jane Grove, a rising senior at West Hartfords Hall High School and a member of the softball team, believes the softball fields need to have, at the very least, the same amenities as the high school baseball fields. A bench behind a fence is the dugout for softball at Hall High School. Photo credit: Jane Grove By Jane Grove Softball has always been one of the most important activities in my life. I have played since I was in Kindergarten, making countless lifelong memories along the way. Big wins, home runs, and close friendships are among my happiest moments, but what I tend to overlook are the settings in which all of these memories took place: fields without fences, scoreboards, or proper dugouts. At the time, I noticed the discrepancies between the fields my teams played on and the fields my friends who played baseball with played on, but never really thought much of them. I continued to enjoy softball despite the less than ideal facilities. Softball equipment storage box at Conard High School. Photo credit: Jane Grove My attitudes about West Hartfords softball facilities began to change as I entered high school. As a member of the Hall High School softball team, I was treated to similar, if not worse facilities than I encountered playing in the town league. The Conard softball teams facilities are no different, matching Halls dugouts consisting of a single barrier and lack of a scoreboard or permanent outfield fence. Similar to when I was younger, I compared the softball teams facilities to the baseball teams: everything softball didnt have, baseball did. What I didnt realize at the time is that softball and baseball are the only high school sports in West Hartford that dont share the same facilities. Both boys and girls soccer share the same turf, both basketball teams share the same court, and even the golf teams practice at the same course. Baseball scoreboard at Hall High School. Photo credit: Jane Grove Why do the only teams that dont share the same playing field have such contrasting facilities? And why do the softball teams get the worse facilities of the two? Both of these questions somehow never made much impact on me as I continued my high school career on a field I knew my team deserved better than. I believe my complicity at the time was due to how commonplace experiences like mine are among female athletes. I cant remember a time when a facility I or any of my friends were playing on was in better condition than the boys facilities. This is the norm, so why would a similar high school experience suddenly open my eyes? Used to the sub-par West Hartford softball fields, my teammates and I traveled to other towns expecting the same thing: softball fields equipped with the bare minimum, and baseball fields with many more amenities. To our surprise, we were very wrong. At all of our away games we were in awe of schools that had full dugouts and an outfield fence (we were especially excited when fields had working scoreboard). The vast majority of schools we played at had facilities that were on par with, if not better than their baseball facilities. Hal High School baseball field. Photo credit: Jane Grove Now, equipped with these new and old experiences I ask: why cant West Hartford put the same effort into their softball fields as other towns? How can a town that so proudly celebrates the 50th anniversary of Title IX stand by as a female sport is treated so differently than its male counterpart? As I enter my senior season I know the improvements Im advocating for wont directly benefit me, and Im okay with that. My time playing softball in West Hartford has made me the person I am today, but that shouldnt keep me from helping improve the experiences of the next generation. Through West Hartfords softball facilities, Ive been taught that my sport isnt as important or worth raising money for as baseball. Future softball players should be proud of the sport they play, and high school fields with fences, scoreboards and proper dugouts would make all the difference in achieving that goal. Editors Note: West Hartfords Town Plan and Zoning Commission (TPZ) will hold a public hearing on Aug. 8, 2022,\xa0beginning at 7:15 p.m. in Room 314 of Town Hall, to consider approval of a Special Use Permit for the installation of a new scoreboard on the varsity softball field at Hall High School. Baseball dugout at Conard High School in West Hartford. Photo credit: Jane Grove We-Ha.com will accept Op-Ed submissions from members of the community. We reserve the right to edit all submitted content. Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Has newsletter so youll always be in the know about whats happening in West Hartford! C lick the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.\n'
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