Youth softball fields to get lights
Donations to the Janesville Youth Baseball and Softball Association effort to raise money for field lights can be made online at janesvilleyouthbaseball.com.
JANESVILLE The Janesville Youth Baseball and Softball Association has raised enough money to light four softball fields in time for 2013 play at the Youth Sports Complex.
"This project represents a $150,000 improvement to the park overall," said Duffy Dillon, spokesman for the organization.
The association continues to raise an additional $350,000 for lights for four baseball fields. Its next project is additional safety netting.
The organization runs a 2-year-old, 10-field facility off Wuthering Hills Drive.
The lights will allow more flexible scheduling.
Currently, games must begin at 4:30 p.m. to end before dark, and the early start time is difficult for coaches and parents.
The group opted to light the softball fields first because it has the cash on hand, Dillon said, and because the softball fields are heavily used. They host baseball leagues for those ages 7 to 10; all levels of girls softball and high school girls softball. The organization also hosts weekend summer baseball and softball tournaments on the fields.
The entire baseball complex includes 40 acres, two concession stands and two restrooms.
Zoning precluded lighted diamonds at the association's former facility on Woodman Road.
The group initially was not sure it would build softball fields because softball was not part of its organization. Now, the fields get so much use that they are "already crunched," Dillon said.
"That's one of the more satisfying things. … We thought we would serve more kids, and we were right," he said.
"It's just been a success even beyond what we hoped it would be. We can only get better."