Softball is a way of life for many area families, who spend their summer nights and weekends at the University of Illinois Springfield-owned softball complex on South 11th Street. The season may stretch into cool-weather months for families with a player on a competitive traveling team.
“The players show a lot of passion, coaches too. Heck, the parents are very supportive as well,” said Heath Erwin, assistant director for the Land of Lincoln Junior Olympic Softball organization.
The softball complex is busy with balls being thrown, batted or caught. Land of Lincoln hosts 500-600 league and tournament games each summer.
This summer, there are 54 teams between four age divisions. Teams are responsible for their own tryouts, which usually take place in the fall. However, the league helps players connect with teams that still have openings. The players, ages 10 to 18, grow up at the fields — with the help of a small army of volunteers, parents, coaches and others who make sure not just that the games go on, but that the complex is a welcoming place for all visitors.
The story was published on June 9, 2013 in The State Journal-Register.
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