PORT NECHES —
After a lifetime of playing softball in Port Arthur, Port Neches and various select teams, Ashley Root decided to sign her five-year-old daughter, Karleigh, up for the girls-only sport at a young age.
“I’m really big about softball; You can eat, sleep and play softball in my house,” Root said. “I contribute that to keeping me busy growing up and if you keep your children busy, doing productive things, it will keep them out of trouble and on the right patch.”
Registration for the Port Neches-Groves Softball League begins today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ball fields located on Merriman in Port Neches.
All girls from Port Neches, Groves and Port Arthur are invited to join the league if they are between the ages of four and 14.
Though registration has been open to Port Arthur in the past, Root said that they didn’t get the word out as much as they should have.
“We’re trying to get those girls involved as much as the PN-G area,” Root said.
In hopes to attracting more Port Arthur players, the league council brought fliers to the school administration building. Root said they were met with enthusiasm.
In years past, the Bellaire girls softball league was home to any girl in Port Arthur who wanted to play.
Longtime softball advocate, Linda George, said that the Bellaire league still exists but the fields, which are located on 39th Street in Port Arthur, have been overrun with vandalism.
George said she was unaware that PNGSL has opened its doors to girls from Port Arthur.
Port Arthur deputy superintendent Mark Porterie said the school district is in favor of anything that benefits the children.
“It will enhance the girls in Port Arthur with skills and give them opportunities to get better at the sport,” Porterie said. “We appreciate them giving the girls a chance to play.”
Each season, the league is made up of 10-12 teams. During the week, the teams play each other at the Port Neches fields, while they travel to Nederland, Orange, Vidor, Beaumont and Winnie for weekend tournaments.
“A lot of our girls do end up playing for their high school teams,” Root said. “It’s neat to see them playing in league then moving up to high school and some making it in college.”
All the renovations and field upkeep must be paid for by registration fees, donations and fundraisers that the league hosts throughout the year.
“Ritter Lumber helped us out quite a bit with the revamping of the concession stands,” Root said. “We’ve gone to doing things like old-fashioned link and bake sales, fundraising nights at local restaurants and several different raffles.”
According to the PNGSL website, it’s $100 to register the first player and $50 for each subsequent player.
A birth certificate is needed for each child’s registration.
Registration will continue each Saturday and Wednesday until February. Team try-outs will be held in early February and Opening Ceremonies will be on March 2 at the fields.
“The girls have fun — my dauther always asks, ‘Mom, when can we go practice? Can we go play?’”
PNGSL spring registration
Jan 12: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Jan. 16: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Jan. 19: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Jan. 23: 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Jan. 26: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
$100 for first player; $50 for subsequent players
Bring a copy of thechild's birth certificate