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Tyrone Girls Summer Softball League disappearing

The Tyrone Girls Summer Softball League has been a long-withstanding tradition in the community for the young women of ages 12 to 18. This summer the league was nonexistent.
There were only enough girls wanting to participate to fill three teams for this summer, which makes it difficult to form a league with such low numbers. People in the Tyrone community are frustrated with the lack of interest and absence of the summer league. One such person is Sue Bonsell, a sponsor of girls summer softball teams in Tyrone and Bellwood.
“I’m really upset about the league not being played,” said Bonsell. “Softball has been in Tyrone for years.”
Bonsell sponsors a 12 to 18 year old girl’s team called the Scent-Sations and an 8 to 12 year old team labeled Lil Scent-Sations. Lil Scent-Sations have always played in Bellwood, but the Scent-Sations were a Tyrone team that had to play in Bellwood’s league this year due to no league in Tyrone.
“Tyrone sent my sponsor money back without any explanation,” said Bonsell. “Obviously there were not enough kids to play.”
Bonsell stated that the league is an important program for the young women in Tyrone and it’s a shame that it isn’t there. She added, “It’s good for girls to learn to work as a team and take on responsibilities — and softball does just that.”
Acting President of the Tyrone Girls Summer Softball League, Jason Fisher, has been involved in girls summer softball in Tyrone for years, as an umpire and now president. Fisher feels there is a lack of interest in the program.
“A lot of girls today get jobs when they turn 16, along with a driver’s license,” said Fisher. “Perhaps the interest just isn’t there.”
Fisher isn’t going to throw in the towel on the league quite yet. He said, “Maybe we can extend the league with other towns in our area to add more competition and teams.”
“Hopefully next year will be different and we’ll work on it, but nothing’s a guarantee,” added Fisher.
Not all girls in Tyrone who play softball quit playing. There are about 20 Tyrone girls participating in the modified softball league in Bellwood.
Skip Pennabaker is the coach of the Scent-Sations that play softball in Bellwood. The Bellwood league was a refuge for those girls in Tyrone who were still interested in playing softball.
Pennabaker commented on reasons why the Tyrone Girls Summer Softball League is having problems. “A lot of it is that they want to keep a slow pitch league in Tyrone, but in high school, softball is modified (fast-pitch).” He added, “Tyrone needs to run a league that is similar to the high school level.”
Pennabaker also stated that part of the problem was that there are many teams in our area and in Tyrone in particular that pertain to boy’s sports, and not accommodating girl’s sports.
Girls have a need to be active in sports just as much as boys, but the interest must be there also. Perhaps there is a better way to advertise the summer softball league so more girls are aware, or maybe changes need to be made to improve the league in Tyrone.
Whatever the need is, people need to get together and bring the league back to Tyrone if possible. The young women in Tyrone should enjoy being young and get involved in programs such as summer softball.
Once again, there are things to do in Tyrone for the young people. With parental support and interest shown by kids, programs such as the Tyrone Girls Summer Softball League will play on.