Tourney takes a timeoutPublished 6:21pm Friday, July 12, 2013
After another bout with the rain on Friday the ENC Babe Ruth state tournament powers that be decided to send everybody back to their corners for the day as the persistent precipitation was too much to overcome.
“Our original plan was to start bracket play around noon but persistent rain during the day started building and we decided to make a decision at 3 o’clock (to halt play),” said Washington Girls Fastpitch Softball League president Greg Dority. “This last cell has taken us out of action. It was a joint decision (with the city). We all got together and decided the best move was to delay everything until 8 o’clock (Saturday morning). That means that we will play at 8 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday so we have enough time to get in all the games to complete the tournament.”
Dority said that safety was the driving force behind the hiatus.
“For safety issues we decided with the city that we just couldn’t take the risk,” Dority said. “To give a softball analogy, we teach our softball players not to swing at the curve in the dirt and it would have been a bad decision to try and force play out here.”
Dority said after taking a tour of the Susiegray McConnell Complex Friday morning it became clear that play would not be possible.
“Earlier in the morning we met with elements of the city that are joint partners in this endeavor and we came together and collaborated like we have done all season at the Complex .We basically walked the fields, looked around and talked and listened and we drew from our experience and came up in complete agreement and a joint decision to cancel (Friday’s games),” Dority said.
The tournament was originally scheduled to end on Saturday and with some cooperation from Mother Nature it can wrap up by Sunday.
“We’re about two games into bracket play and there is about 57 or 58 games to go,” Dority said. “If we can get a good start and go late into the evening on Saturday that will take a little bit of pressure off of Sunday where we are expecting some really good weather and to complete the championship games.”
Dority said none of that would be possible without a tremendous effort from the field crew.
“The city workers will come in at 4 a.m. (Saturday) to begin working on the fields and lining the fields and prepping the complex for the tournament,” Dority said. “We are very grateful to the city for going the extra mile for us and for the tournament and coming in that early on the weekend. I cannot compliment the city enough for how they have bent over backwards to make everything go right.
“We’re confident that between their efforts, the state officials and our local league officials that we’re going to complete what has so far been a very successful tournament on Sunday.”