The Evanston Baseball Softball Association continues to grow, especially for the girls softball league. The girls league consists of teams from Evanston, Morton Grove, Skokie and Lincolnwood. There are teams for four different grade levels. The teams for first- and second-graders focus on teaching fundamentals of the game; they do not play teams from other municipalities. The teams for the third- and fourth-graders, fifth- and sixth-graders and seventh- and eighth-graders play teams from other municipalities and had their championship games on June 30.
The championship game for teams at the third- and fourth-grade level was held at Austin Park in Morton Grove. The Morton Grove Tigers took the championship. Evanston’s Linz and Vail team and Morton Grove Red Sox took second and third places respectively.
Evanston’s Stephens Dentistry was crowned champion of the fifth- and sixth-grade level after winning the playoff game at Harrer Park in Morton Grove. The Morton Grove White Sox took second place. Third place went to Evanston’s Casteel Coffee.
At the seventh- and eighth-grade level, the Yankees and the Red Sox from Morton Grove took first and second place respectively. Those games were played at National Southwest Park in Morton Grove.
“I think the season was a success: The games are fun, the players are enthusiastic, and coaching is improving,” Co-commissioner Terry Dillon told the RoundTable. “We maintained the same number of players that we had last season, after big increases over the last few years.”
Mr. Dillon pointed out that there was a need to keep up interest at the seventh- and eighth-grade level. “We need to keep the girls playing in the older divisions,” he said. “We lose many girls in the older division, probably due to other activities and a tendency to concentrate on one sport. It would be great to increase the level of play in all divisions.”
“Some of the highlights of this past season were the continued popularity of the Junior Ponytail League for first- and second-graders,” Co-commissioner Steve Reiches told the RoundTable. “In this league, emphasis is on teaching fundamentals specific to softball. The games will progress from hitting off tees to coach pitching. This is only the second year of a program for this age group and it is wonderful to see a nice group of young players interested in softball.”
Mr. Reiches says he feels there is a bright future for girls softball based on what is happening at Evanston Township High School: “Seeing the high school softball fields being torn up and rebuilt is certainly a sign of good things for Evanston softball.”
“We are just pleased with the overall growth of the softball program. Fast-pitch softball does not have a long tradition in Evanston, and it is great to see so many girls play softball and, more importantly, enjoy playing it,” said Mr. Reiches.