By Delanie Stafford, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 01, 2017
Members of the 97th Intelligence Squadron's softball team pose for a picture August 10, 2017 at Hayworth Park in Bellevue, Nebraska after winning the Offutt intramural softball championship. The city of Bellevue's Parks and Recreation Department provided free use of their softball fields when Offutt's softball complex was damaged from a June 16 tornado. (Courtesy photo)
Offutt’s intramural softball season wrapped up August 10, but it wouldn’t have been possible without help from the City of Bellevue’s Parks and Recreation Department, who provided softball fields free of charge when Offutt’s softball complex was heavily damaged in the June 16 tornado.
“We went out to the softball fields that night and three of the four bleachers were hanging on the backstop,” said Marc Grothues, 55th Force Support Squadron fitness director. “A couple of the players suggested Bellevue. So we reached out to the Bellevue Parks and Recreation Department and they found some fields for us.”
After some coordination and schedule changes, teams from 20 different Offutt units were able to resume league play. The teams temporarily played at the McCann baseball field near Bellevue East High School until a softball field became available at Hayworth Park in Bellevue. Between two leagues, games were held at the fields four nights a week.
“We had nothing but good things to say,” said Capt. Anna Gault, 55th FSS sustainment flight commander. “They were very generous - they lined the fields every day and took care of the maintenance. They really stepped up.”
In the end, the 97th Intelligence Squadron ran through the season undefeated to win the base championship.
Gault said that softball is by far the most popular sport on base and that it was important to keep the season going.
“After a natural disaster, getting back to a sense of normalcy and having an outlet from the day to day grind is important to those players,” she said.
Field House officials hope to have the fields repaired in time for the next softball season that begins in May.
For more information about Offutt’s intramural softball program, call 232-0301.