All-star effort allows tourney to resume

Published 10:31 pm Saturday, July 13, 2013

The rain kept delivering blows but the city workers of Washington and a strong band of volunteers countered every step of the way and after a day-and-a-half long rain delay the ENC State softball tournament resumed on Saturday.
If precipitation was a stock Washington would have been swimming in money after the week its had, but instead it can shower in pride. When play resumed at 4 p.m. on Saturday the fields at the Susiegray McConnell Complex were puddle-free and the athletes were ready to play ball thanks to an all-star effort that began at 4 a.m. on Saturday.
“We made a decision early that there was no quit in us on,” Washington Girls Fastpitch Softball League president Greg Dority said. “Every time we got hit by rain we got all the water off the infield even though we knew we were going to get hit again. Everybody vowed that no matter how many times it rained we would keep getting the water off.”
After a steady night of rain the tourney wasn’t expected to resume until late Saturday evening but thanks to some creative measures the games were able to start ahead of schedule.
“I can’t begin to discus how happy we are with the efforts everybody is making. This has truly been a community effort,” Dority said. “We realized that one of our biggest problems was the ponding water on the fields and the need to get the water off before the next cell would hit so we got some gas-powered leaf blowers to blow the water off. It worked much quicker than if we used normal drying methods. Innovation saved the day.”
Those methods enabled the tournament to begin at 4 p.m. rather than 6 p.m. and took some of the burden off of Sunday’s slate.
If the weather continues to hold up, the games are expected to resume at 8 a.m. today and Dority said spectators will be admitted free of charge.
“There will be no admission charge at the gate for Championship Sunday,” Dority said. “We decided that after the way our out of town guests, everybody in the community and our entire softball nation have come together to help make this happen that we wanted to say ‘thank you’ to them. That’s the reason that there will be no charge at the gate. We’d like to see everybody out there on (today) for a great day of softball.”