CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) — Roosevelt Park is where the Campbell girls’ softball team plays its home games. Wednesday afternoon parts of it were underwater, and the field was unplayable. That’s been the case for many baseball and softball fields this spring. The last time we had a day with no precipitation was March 29. The average high so far in April is just 53 degrees, so to get the girls playing something needed to be done.
Campbell Memorial Stadium is set up to play football and soccer, but Wednesday afternoon it was being used for girls’ softball.
“You know we have to provide some kind of setting for them to try to get some games in, and this is what we came up with,” said Atheltic Director Stacie Cepin.
Home plate was at a corner of an end zone. The sideline led to first base and the goal line to third. The bases were extra turf painted white with the pitchers’ mound slightly elevated with turf. Orange construction fence held together by hurdles outlined the field. The soccer goals were the dugouts. Campbell’s opponent was East Palestine which has played five games and had nine canceled.
“We need to get games in. The girls are anxious to play. So we’re excited to be here. Whatever works, absolutely,” said East Palestine manager Clarence Andre.
“It’s better than nothing. Actually, it’s not too bad,” said Campbell manager Paul Kish.
Kish, along with second baseman Cayla Marshall, would rather play on a dirt field.
“It makes us more comfortable. It gives us something that we’re used to…It’s not bad. Just a little different that’s all,” said Marshall.
“Oh yes exactly. Hopefully, we’ll get back on the dirt. It’ll probably be more fun but this is not a bad alternative,” said Kish.
“It’s weird. It’s definitely not something we’re used to,” said senior Emily Reninger.
Reninger was Campbell’s shortstop. She said there’s a difference in playing on turf. It doesn’t stop the ball.
“So if you get hit, it definitely hurts a lot more. The dirt is able to slow it down. But I think I’m a little faster on the turf, like moving side to side and forward to get to the balls,” said Reninger.
There are nine seniors on Campbell’s team all of whom lost the 2020 season to COVID. Athletic Director Stacie Cepin didn’t want to lose another.
“We’re just being creative and with some of the challenges we’ve come up with this. Our softball team is happy, our coaches are happy,” said Cepin.
The plan in Campbell is to get out of the football stadium and onto the softball field as soon as possible though no one knows exactly when that will be. The turf, however, did not prove to be a home-field advantage. Campbell lost to East Palestine 17 to 5.