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A field of their own

April 11, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Chelsea Showe's softball team lost its season opener Saturday, but the 13-year-old pitcher kept smiling.

"You got to have a good attitude," she said.

Chelsea said she couldn't remember the score of the game, only that "it was bad."

Despite the loss, Chelsea said she wants to stick with the sport for years to come.

"It's fun. I like it," she said. "It's my favorite sport. I want to (keep playing) all the way to college."

Chelsea, who has been playing softball since second grade, was one of about 400 girls to kick off the Washington County Girls Softball League's season Saturday at Kemps Mill Park near Williamsport.

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Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, Commissioner Doris J. Nipps and Debbie Murphy, chairwoman of the Parks and Recreation Board, tossed out the first pitches.

League President Steve Danfelt said 25 teams in the under-10 and under-14 divisions took to the fields Saturday.

"These girls come in here and play their hearts out, and they leave as friends," Danfelt said. "I miss it over the winter months."

Games were played throughout the day on three fields, as excited family members and friends sat in the bleachers or gathered around the fields to cheer for their players.

Danfelt said this is the second year the league has played at Kemps Mill Park, which opened last year. This year, the park features a new concession stand, which drew long lines for much of the day.

Danfelt said the stand went through 50 pounds of hamburger meat - the equivalent of 250 hamburgers.

Snook estimated that more than 500 people attended the opening ceremonies in the morning.

"This is a super turnout," said Ronnie Topper, coach of the D.M. Bowman team. "Good weather. The girls had a good time."

Danfelt said the county, state Program Open Space grant dollars and donations helped make the softball complex a reality.

Before Kemps Mill was built, Danfelt said the softball teams played anywhere they could.

"We even played at a cow pasture, and that's no lie," Danfelt said. "We used anywhere we could find to play ball."

"I'd say it's a first-class facility," Snook said.

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