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Women’s softball expected to return to Dellinger Park
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
July 12, 2012 10:59 AM | 1677 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Donna Welchel, Beth Katt and Heather Gorman surround home base at Dellinger Park last week. Welchel worked to start a new women’s softball league at the park.
From left, Donna Welchel, Beth Katt and Heather Gorman surround home base at Dellinger Park last week. Welchel worked to start a new women’s softball league at the park.
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During the second week of September, the Cartersville Recreation Department expects to start the new season of women’s slowpitch softball at Dellinger Park after a decade of not hosting the sport.

The deadline to register for the fall league is Aug. 17. Players don’t have to live in Bartow County but must be at least 16 years old. The cost is $400 per team — no more than $35 per player with teams of 12 to 14 players. Shirts and bats are the only other team expenses.

Donna Welchel, who helped bring the league back, initially brought the idea up earlier this year when speaking with Britt McGill, adult athletic coordinator for Cartersville Recreation Department, after her co-ed team could not participate in district playoffs due to lack of interest from the surrounding counties.

“I sat down and wrote a plan. I created a Facebook group. I invited several women that I knew from my co-ed team as well as women from rival co-ed teams,” Welchel said.

“Women’s slowpitch softball had been very popular at Dellinger for many years prior to 2002. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s there was enough interest in women’s ball that we actually had two leagues,” she said.

McGill said he was “very happy with the prospect of women’s softball at Dellinger again.”

“Women are just so busy with their kids’ sports and work that fun for them comes in last,” he said.

Welchel said she “played ball at Dellinger for many years starting back in 1987” in the women’s softball leagues before stopping in 1998 while going through a divorce.

As a part of the effort to get more women in the leagues, Dellinger is hosting “pick-up” games for all interested women, “in hopes of forming relationships and teams,” Welchel said

The first game was on July 10, but more are scheduled — July 22 and Aug. 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; July 22, Aug. 12, and Aug. 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

To have a fall season there must be at least four teams. With “three teams somewhat committed,” Welchel said she believes it will happen.

“We have gotten a great response from the road signs and fliers and are very confident that we can come up with the four-team minimum by fall,” she said.
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