D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The parents as well as the president of the D'Iberville Girls Fastpitch Softball League are speaking out over the quality of their fields at the Ruby Moran Ballpark. The league's president said the girls are playing on a substandard field compared to the boys, and he wants to see that changed.
This is where the 75-member D'Iberville Girls Fastpitch Softball League plays ball, but according to league parents and league President Rob Sawyer, these players aren't on a level playing field.
Sawyer said the fields are in such poor condition, they pose a safety risk to players and have deterred new players and tournaments from playing here.
"The fences, they're not grated properly. There's holes out in the outfield over here. Plenty of ants everywhere and just not kept up well," said Sawyer.
"The softball fields are never maintained. I mean, when it rains out here, we have a swamp out here. We can't get on the fields. We can't do practice. We can't have games. Most of the maintenance that's done on these fields, the parents have to get out here and do," said league commissioner Billy Lewis.
"We should have practice right now, but we don't have the field property like we should," said Robert Allen, who is the parent of a player.
When you look at the fields the boys are playing on, Sawyer said it makes him wonder why their fields are better.
"Certainly the fields aren't up to par for us. That's why we're replacing them with a $7.5 million facility that we're building now. It doesn't make a lot of sense to dump a ton of money into these old fields when we're going to decommission them when the new fields are opened up in June," said City Manager Clay Jones.
The city has told the league to let the girls play their games on the boy's fields.
"Those fields are baseball fields. They're not softball fields. Totally different," said Sawyer.
Though parents are happy about the new fields, they still don't understand what's taken so long.
"For 12 years now, the girls have been waiting. Who told you that? Past presidents. Past players. Players who have actually gone out to coach. Now, they have been waiting for newer fields," said Sawyer.