Youth baseball, softball closing in on tourneys
Although the weather is getting warmer, local baseball and softball teams are enjoying a much smoother schedule.
With fewer rain dates this summer, games are following their schedules.
"It's been the easiest summer for me ever," said Mark Zerrer, Tonganoxie Recreation Commission director. "We haven't had a whole lot to deal with with the weather."
Now teams and the recreation commission are gearing up for tournaments.
The girls K-ball (7-8) Kaw Valley League Tournament starts Friday in Tonganoxie, along with the Midget boys (9-10) tournament today.
Some of the junior boys (11-12) tournament will also be played in Tonganoxie. That tournament starts Saturday.
Other tournaments starting this week are the midget girls in Basehor, the junior girls in Lansing, intermediate girls (13-14) in Basehor and intermediate boys in De Soto.
This year's turnout for baseball and softball in Tonganoxie is up to 450 in T-ball through eighth grade, which has been an improvement for the leagues.
"There's a little bit more participation this year," Zerrer said. "It's not leaps and bounds; probably up 25 kids."
This year's games also have had a change of scenery.
Green wind screening was installed around the fields' fences at the TRC ball fields, as was red shell surface on the infields. The surface is designed to absorb moisture better than other surfaces, but this year it hasn't been put to the test often.
The other field improvement also is on the fences. The outfield fences now have 30 advertisement boards on them.