Volunteers Pitch In to Ready Field for Softball Tournament

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BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- After facilities at a baseball field were nearly destroyed by a fire, volunteers have been working to repair the place for a tournament this weekend.

The fire near Montrose happened just days before the annual tournament. Organizers have been working to clear up the debris to allow teams to play baseball safely.

Although it won't be an all-nighter, 13 teams will still take the field this weekend.

Ken Blaisure says there is quite a difference between the open area at Southtown baseball field near Montrose and the one a fire left behind earlier this week.

Gravel and rocks are much different than the smoked-out building that had to be knocked down.

"You guys saw the picture from the fire and everything and all that, and this is what they did and three days," Blaisure said. "They got the building out of here and got stone in here and it's all picked up, pretty much."

Organizers say the fire broke out early Sunday morning, putting the field's biggest fundraising event of the year, the Southtown Slow Pitch Tournament, in jeopardy.

The fire marshal blames an electrical issue.

After the fire, both organizers and players were not even sure they would be able to have a tournament but because of the volunteers being able to clear up this space, now everyone will be able to play ball.

Usually, the tournament continues all night long. Organizers tried to set up portable lights for overnight baseball but that didn't work. Now, teams will just be playing from sunrise to sundown.

Joshua Kronyak started playing last year and is excited he will be able to take the field again this year thanks to the volunteers.

"I think it really shows like the perseverance of the community. I mean we had probably five or six guys that were here, that were contractors, here from 8 o'clock until dark the past few days," Kronyak.

"Just a great place to live, I mean, if something happens people are here to back you just an amazing community," said Blaisure.

Organizers say the first pitch for the 30th annual Southtown Slow Pitch Tournament is scheduled for Saturday morning.

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