County softball league 'politely' kicks off season

April 15, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

WILLIAMSPORT - Parents and coaches involved in girls softball say it's a more polite sport than boys Little League.

"It's more fun," said Joe Footen, coach of his daughter, Ashley's, team.

The team played its first game Saturday following kickoff ceremonies for the Washington County Girls Softball League 2002 season at the Pinesburg recreation complex west of Williamsport.

"Ladies, we've got to do the same thing to them as they just did to us - 1, 2, 3," Footen said as the girls returned to their dugout after failing to score in their half of the inning.

"It's not as aggressive as Little League," Footen said. "I believe it's more fun for the parents and the kids. There's no attitude in girls softball."


Joan Walla drove her 13-year-old-daughter to the opening along with teammates Caroline Sirface, 13, and Ashley Daniels, 12.

"Girls softball is definitely not the same as Little League," Walla said. "It's nowhere near as competitive, and it seems to encourage teamwork and sportsmanship. It's not that constant winning attitude."

It's Daniels second year in the league, which takes in middle-school age girls in grades 6-8.

She plays first base and pitches sometimes and said she enjoys league play because of the competition.

Sirface, who moved to the area from England, is playing in the league for the first time. She played a game called rounder in England, she said.

"It's like baseball except you don't have to hit the ball to run. You can swing and miss and still run. It has four bases."

Frank Mallott sat out of the rain under the eaves of the concession stand watching his 13-year-old daughter, Emily, at shortstop. She's been in girls softball since she began playing in the elementary school-age league.

Mallott said he goes to all of his daughter's ball games, just as he did for Emily's 16-year-old sister, Erin.

"I followed her career all the way through, too," he said. "Now they're both in volleyball and it's overlapping with this."

He said Erin's volleyball team is headed to Salt Lake City in July to play in a national tournament.

"I'm going, too," he said.

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