Raleigh County gears up for first softball tournament

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Parks and Recreation officials put some finishing touches on Fitzpatrick park ahead of this weekend’s softball tournament.

“We have 15 teams signed up,” says executive director Molly Williams. “Each team has about 10 to 12 girls and a lot of those will bring their families as well.”

With every team, there are fans and family members not far behind. Not only did the teams pay to play, but spectators over five years old are charged a three-dollar entrance fee, putting money towards local parks.

“Eventually, we want to put some more facilities here. We want to get a better playground, we want to get our parking lots redone, maybe a bigger concession stand in the future. We’ve been working really hard on [Field #4], so maybe we can put some more things out in that direction. Only two of our fields have lights, so eventually we’d love to put two sets of lights on our remaining two fields.”

The county also expects an increase in tax revenue as coaches, players and family members stay in local hotels and eat at local restaurants.

“Bringing in tourists from outside the area helps out hotels and our restaurants, so it’s going to be a win-win. The girls are going to get to play some amazing softball and it’s going to help our community by giving some business to our local area.”

After months of planning, Williams is excited to get the ball rolling on the county’s first tournament.

“This is going to be a big deal for us and our community so we’re excited to have it. We’re just hoping the rain holds off for us.”

Throughout the tournament, organizers will remind guests to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.