Fastpitch association adds portable home run fences to four softball fieldsIn an effort to expand its already growing annual tournament, the Mitchell Girls’ Fastpitch Association has made an addition to four of the eight fields at the Cadwell Park softball complex. The association recently purchased four portable home run fences that will be placed on the eastern-most fourplex of fields for this weekend’s Lowell Rang Memorial Tournament.
In an effort to expand its already growing annual tournament, the Mitchell Girls’ Fastpitch Association has made an addition to four of the eight fields at the Cadwell Park softball complex.
The association recently purchased four portable home run fences that will be placed on the eastern-most fourplex of fields for this weekend’s Lowell Rang Memorial Tournament.
The fences are made out of PVC and are spring loaded and collapsible and also have foul poles, according to association member Jim Misiaszek.
“We (make additions) to help grow the league and grow the tournament,” Misiaszek said. “This brings one more thing to our tournament that others don’t have. When you’re playing fastpitch on slowpitch fields, it’s nice to have them scaled to size.”
The fastpitch association paid $15,200 for the four fences, which will also be up for league nights on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Misiaszek said the association purchased the fences through the city to get the best available product.
“That’s what Chuck Jones does,” Misiaszek said. “He takes care of equipment orders and supplies. He came up with our best options, so we went through them and we paid the city.”
Misiaszek added that the association came up with the money for the fences out of its general fund and the Lowell Rang tournament fund. He said money in the funds comes from team and player fees, concessions and the revenue generated at the annual tournament.
The new fences were supposed to be delivered earlier this week so the association could see how long it would take to set them up, but they were not delivered on time, so a crew will do a test run today.
“That will help us get a better gauge of how easy (it is to put them up) and what kind of time we need for setup,” Misiaszek said.
Misiaszek said the home run fences were the association’s major project for this summer. Next summer, however, it is hoping, with the cooperation of the city, to build bullpens that can be used for fastpitch softball and youth baseball.
Dugouts and concession stands are also on the association’s to-do list for the near future.
“We did the home run fences first, and that will hopefully attract more teams and generate more revenue,” Misiaszek said. “That should get us a little more exposure locally and in the region, and hopefully that will generate more and more revenue as more teams come and we get more teams in the league.”
The Lowell Rang Memorial Tournament starts today and ends Sunday. There will be 52 teams — including one from Norfolk, Neb. — competing in five age brackets (U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18).
The tournament starts today with the opening ceremony at 5:45 p.m. on the east complex. The ceremony will include a ribbon cutting as the association is welcomed into the Chamber of Commerce, the national anthem, a white bird release in honor of Lowell Rang, team and tournament introductions and ceremonial first pitches thrown out by Mitchell City Council president Jeff Smith and family members of Rang.
Games will be played from 7 to 10 p.m. today, and actions starts at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The games will be pool play games today and Saturday, and the tournament will be single elimination Sunday. Championship games will be between 4 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.