Local softball league to host fundraiser in hopes of buying protective nets for complex

Published 12:02 am Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bridget Wactor was there in 1991 when the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball League built its four, now three, fields on the back left corner of Natchez High School’s property.

She helped mix and pour the concrete that holds each section of fence for almost 30 years. She witnessed the sod and dirt being  placed on each diamond, and she was even a part of building the facility’s wood-planked bleachers.

After sticking around and stepping into the role of league president this year, Wactor is still doing all she can to keep the grounds up and running.

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On Thursday, Natchez-Adams Girls Softball will host a fish fry fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sports Center to raise money for overhead netting to increase safety at the complex.

“Our backs built these fields,” Wactor said. “We’ve been discussing (the nets) for the last few years, and finally I said ‘We have got to make our minds up and do it.’”

Wactor said the concern for netting became especially significant after two small children were hit with foul balls during the league’s tryouts a few weeks ago.

“No one was badly injured, but this will help us tremendously,” she said. “We usually have a lot of people out here, and we want to upgrade, to be more like other complexes.”

While Wactor said the goal is to have a net connect between each of the three fields, as well as connect to the main building at the complex, she hopes the fundraiser will raise enough money to at least get the project started.

Tickets for the fish fry are $8 per plate and include six pieces of fish, fries, slaw and hush puppies. Those interested in purchasing a ticket can buy them from a member in the league, or contact Wactor directly at 601-597-1419.

Wactor said official measurements for the netting should be made within the next few days, and expects the total cost to be at minimum $4,500.

“We might only do a little at a time, but whatever we can do we want to keep them safe,” she said.

Over the years, Wactor and her husband, Tommy, have also done a number of other improvements to the league’s facilities. Some corrections include replacing two air conditioning units in the concession stand, repainting the press box, changing wood boards on the bleachers and paying for new light bulbs, which can cost $50 apiece.

Wactor said the reason she has put in so much time to updated the fields is to keep the families coming back each year.

This year’s league is set to kick off Thursday night with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m., followed by two games. The league’s jamboree tournament will continue Friday night and end on Saturday.

“We are trying to keep our organization here so it does not dissolve, because you have a lot of kids who love to play the sport,” Wactor said. “We are here for the kids, and that’s our main purpose.”

Regular season league play for Natchez-Adams Girls Softball will begin on April 24.