The Louisa County Little League baseball and softball teams are taking the field for their fall season after missing out on their spring and summer seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The fall season is geared more toward building skills, so the teams spend more time practicing than during the spring season, only playing one or two games per week.
“We want to be really pushing the skills during the fall,” said Dino Goodman, Louisa Little League president. “During the spring, teams are playing two or three nights a week so there aren’t as many fields open for practice. Teams have more practices and only about 10 games.”
There are nine baseball teams spread out across three divisions, including two senior league teams (13 to 16 years old), four major league teams (ages 9 to 12) and three minor league teams (7 to 11). The softball league has three teams this season: Two major league teams (10 to 12 years old) and one minor league team (ages 7 to 9).
“The kids who have come out are excited to play, especially with their spring season being shut down,” said Daniel Harlow, the league’s baseball vice-president.
Due to the continuing pandemic, precautions have been taken to ensure that the league is in compliance with state guidelines and to ensure the players stay healthy. Extra space along the fence line is now alloted for the dugouts to give players and coaches space to social distance when not on the field. Equipment is cleaned regularly and players and coaches have their temperatures taken prior to the start of each game. Parents who attend the games are encouraged to practice social distancing as much as possible.
Even with these changes, the game play for both baseball and softball won’t look all that different, which Angela Goodman, who was in charge of organizing the season for the softball team, feels is good for the players.
“The girls are excited to be on the ball field,” she said. “They’re out there playing ball and trying to have some sort of normalcy.”
In addition to the regular fall ball season, Louisa’s 11-to-12-year-old all-star baseball team was invited to play in a tournament hosted by Tuckahoe Little League on Sept. 18-19. Louisa took on the Tuckahoe American League team for their first game, falling 3-1. They bounced back on day two with a 15-5 win over Chesterfield and closed things out with a 9-6 win over Huguenot.