Tourney ends on bright note

Published 6:45 pm Monday, July 15, 2013

At times it looked like the finish line looked so far away. With rain wiping out nearly two days of play and the threat of rain constantly lurking around the corner like a school bully it seemed as though the ENC state softball tournament might not ever finish. However, Sunday came and lived up to its name as the bright orange ball in the sky returned to set the perfect scene for the final day of play and allow the tourney to end on time.
Though the sun’s comeback was nice, the tournament was only able to stay on course thanks to a great team effort by city workers and volunteers who put in remarkable hours to make sure all the participants were able to play some ball.
“We would have never have reached the final wire without the City of Washington, our great volunteers, our board members and everybody in the softball committee who came out on Saturday,” said Washington Fastpitch Softball League president Greg Dority. “Basically, Saturday saved the tournament and allowed us to crown the champions on Sunday.”
After heavy storms washed out Friday’s schedule, the field crew workers stepped up on Saturday with an effort that began at 4 a.m. and allowed the games to resume at 4 p.m. despite the constant showers.
The games ran late Saturday night as the final contest concluded at approximately 4 a.m. Sunday and Dority was grateful to all those involved for their cooperation.
“We had complete cooperation from all the teams and I think everybody had a great time in Washington,” Dority said.
Dority also wanted to thank the WGFSL board members Neal Dixon, Dallis Tucker, E.J. Paszt, Shane Miller, Chris Respess, Larry Beamon, Jeanne Rutledge, Vickie Williams  and Don Kennedy for their support and input.
“When the board first met we realized that the last two state championships had significant challenges with the weather. So over the course of the last couple of months the board put together a program and a plan to deal with most any contingencies we could come up. I’m so proud of those guys and gals because they really went the extra mile. They were out here all ours this week and without them we would not have been able to pull this off,” Dority said. “The tournament was a spectacular success. The entire Washington community came together to overcome very difficult odds that threatened to collapse months of hard work by the board and our volunteer base — the city maintenance crew saved the day.  We received countless compliments from our out of town guests about the superior athletic facility we provided as well as the genuine hospitality demonstrated by our downtown merchants and restaurants. All in all, Washington, North Carolina radiated with the best of southern tradition.”