The Yorkton Crush have taken over management and maintenance of the slo pitch diamonds at York Lake.
“It’s a new thing for us,” said Crush president Clorice Kuzek.
Kuzek said the new arrangement was made to hopefully benefit both the Crush and the facility.
“The facility wasn’t getting enough use,” she explained.
And the various Crush teams were having a difficult time getting diamond time in the city.
“We were only getting two days a week,” she said, adding that even at those limited times the girls fastball practices would be cancelled at times to allow for baseball.
As it turned out York Lake was looking for some group to take over the slo pitch facility, and Kuzek said we decided to take it on.
“We think it will be more beneficial for our girls to get more practice time,” she said.
As it is, the Crush have nearly 85 girls enrolled this year, and are fielding teams at every level from the learn to play under-8 team through to a U19 team.
“It’s been growing. It’s been progressing,” said Kuzek.
The Crush program is now using the York Lake diamonds four nights a week.
Kuzek said it was only a half dozen years ago the girls fastball program was struggling a bit, but with some reorganizing, and rebranding the program as the Crush, and things have grown, which is good said their president as fastball is a sport girls can progress in all the way to college scholarships.
This year the league structure is going through its own restructuring as the old 981 league folded in the winter.
Kuzek said they moved to have a meeting to save the league structure albeit in a new form.
“We wanted something in Southeast Saskatchewan so the girls have somewhere to play,” she said.
Bringing communities such as Saltcoats, Churchbridge, Langenburg, Stockholm, Esterhazy, Melville, Ochapowace and others, a league was created.
“We’re going year-to-year,” said Kuzek, adding the roster of teams will hopefully grow.
With the new facility the Crush will be hosting a tournament June 2, which is attracting teams from Dauphin and St. Rose in Manitoba and inquiries from Melfort, Humboldt and Regina which Kuzek said is good for the future as they want better competition to develop the program here.
While the Crush are using the diamonds regularly, there is also slo pitch going on, and in the future they will be looking for additional users, offered Kuzek.
But right now the number one job is getting the facility back in shape.
“It has been run down the last 15 years,” she said, which means “a lot of volunteer hours and a lot of work going on.”
Kuzek likened the project a bit like eating an elephant, which can only be accomplished a bite at a time. The fields need attention, there are lights burned out, the clubhouse has been in disuse for ages.
Anyone who might be interested to help, the Crush recently received a donation of gravel for around the clubhouse, it would be welcomed, said Kuzek.