Little ones were trying to find their way to first base on the T-ball field, while older kids were blasting home runs in the upper leagues as Centertown got its softball leagues cranked up on Tuesday.
“Everyone seems to be glad to be back out here,” said league president Donnie Caldwell during the second night of games on Thursday.
Caldwell said 266 players registered to play ball this season, down from 330 last year.
Action in the Junior League was hard fought as Fann Farms used solid pitching and fielding from Presley Bonner to earn an 11-5 win over Tim Rigsby Roofing.
Payton Muncey had one of the biggest hits of the game for Tim Rigsby Roofing. He blasted a shot to the outfield and wasn’t about to let off the gas. He motored around the bases for an inside-the-park HR to make it a 7-5 game entering the bottom of the second inning.
Fann Farms didn’t like the score being so close and answered with four runs in its next bat to build an 11-5 lead.
Treyvion Mathis smashed a double to the outfield for one of the big hits. Carter Keaton rounded third base to score on a triple to left field from Presley Bonner as another highlight.
The inning could have been much worse for Tim Rigsby Roofing if not for a heads-up defensive play from third baseman Dylan Collett. He caught a tricky infield fly that looked like it might fall, then had the wherewithal to step on 3B to get a double play on the runner who left base.
The game became a defensive battle the final three innings as neither team could push a run across the plate. First baseman Carter Simpson of Fann Farms made a flashy defensive play on a blooper that looked like it was going to land behind the pitcher. Simpson raced in to make a running catch and keep the runner off base.
In other Junior League action Thursday night, Holder Realty made an early statement with a 22-0 win over First Bank.
Lead-off batter Paige Sweeten set the tone on the very first play of the game when she hammered a shot to deep left field. She made the decision rounding second base to try to stretch it to an inside-the-park HR and turned on an extra burst of speed to make it home before the ball could arrive.
The early 1-0 lead would be a sign of things to come as First Bank didn’t have success throwing strikes or making plays in the field. Holder Realty sprinkled in a few hits to accompany a number of walks to make it a 14-0 game in the first inning.
On the T-ball field, playing in the dirt was as much a focus as getting hits and running bases. Kids had to be heavily coached on how to swing the bat and which direction to run as they donned bright helmets and tiny gloves.
Easton Parker of Action Advertising showed he could make some plays on defense as he stopped several ground balls hit his way.
Games are scheduled at Centertown Recreational Complex on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with Monday serving as a rain-out date.