It came down to unrelenting hope and a prayer for the Charlestown Girls Softball team to get on the diamond for summer ball.
After holding out hope for the spring season to start in May, the league had to give up on the spring – the most popular part of the softball season – and focus on trying to make something out of the summer program.
It was touch and go, but League President Jack Schievink said things began to look up in June, and they returned with some light practices in late June, and were able to get out and start games last week.
“We definitely did a lot of praying,” said Schievink. “I did think we would have a season. I knew the spring ball was a done deal. Our coaches stayed positive. We wanted something to happen for the kids. We were ready to even mix 10 and 12 year old’s together and have games amongst ourselves. For the older 18U team, there were four graduating seniors, so they lost the spring season – their last season. These summer games become really important to them.”
On Monday evening, it was blistering hot, but there were only smiles on the faces of the kids as they faced off against Danvers. Parents were in the outfield spaced out appropriately, and the coaches had to wear face coverings at all times.
Precautions aside, it beat sitting in the house for another two months.
“The kids love it,” said Schievink. “When I sent out the e-mail saying that we could start practice, parents were ecstatic. They are 100 percent behind us. It’s all good now. They’re just happy to get them out there playing.”
Coach Billy Nugent said the Charlestown league never gave up on playing, which is a big part of why they were able to bring things together.
“A lot of teams we play just gave up on it a long time ago,” he said. “Several of the City teams aren’t playing, Chelsea doesn’t have a team and Malden usually has multiple teams, but they only have one this year. We stuck together and we didn’t give up. I think it was important to get through that so the kids could have some sort of season.”
The teams began practicing in late June, but could only do individual drills while keeping six feet apart – which was interesting to pull off, but not impossible. When the state entered into Phase 3 on July 9, they were able to do more on the practice field and play away games. Last Monday, July 13, Boston opened for the season and games resumed in Charlestown.
The 10U team – prior to Monday – was 2-0. The 12U team was 2-0, while the 18U team was 1-0.