Ball Fields Open In Hancock County

Residents are building back in one of Katrinas hardest hit areas, Hancock County.

Saturday, two ball fields destroyed by the storm are now back up and running just in time for the start of the season.

This day of outdoor athletics marks a significant step on the post Katrina road to recovery.

Catcher Natasha Saucier has been playing softball for 12 years.  Like most of her team mates, she was displaced after Katrina.

Saucier says she felt relieved when she heard the good news that there would be a softball season this year.

"This is my last year playing so its really important for the memories before I go to college," says Saucier.

Her teammate, pitcher Cindy Fouasnon, is grateful for all of the volunteers.  Fouasnon says without them, there would not be a season.

"We didn't think we would have anywhere to play, but a whole bunch of wonderful people helped us out," says Fouasnon.

With over two hundred kids enjoying a day at the ball fileds, organizers are excited.

Knowing that just last night they were still putting the final touches of the fields.

"We were like we hope we make it. We got everything finished yesterday probably about 8 o'clock," says organizer Renne Jeffrey.

League president Herb Sires says it was quite a struggle getting things together. But they did make their deadline, and he says it was definitely worth the hard work.

"Our kids have just been longing to get out on the fields and play. It was truly a community effort we could not have done it without the help of the community," says Sires.

"A lot of them, all they had to look forward to is going home to the FEMA camper, playing in debris yards. You cant hardly practice because you have the nails the garbage. I think every one of them are excited. Just look at them," Jeffrey says.

Seventeen teams were in action during today's games.

With players ranging in age from five to eighteen.

Organizers say extra curricular activities, such as baseball and softball, help to keep children out of trouble.

And they are thankful to all of the volunteers from all over the nation who came to lend a helping hand.