By Brian Hoffman, sports editor
The James I. Moyer Complex in Salem was buzzing with action for the first time this summer as Salem played host to the USA Girls 16U & 18U Fast Pitch Tournament last weekend. The complex had been idle since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I thought everything went very well,” said John Shaner, Director of Parks and Recreation for Salem. “The staff did a great job and the cleaning process kept everyone safe, and we got great cooperation from USA Softball.”
The Augusta Flames won the 18U championship. Many Vinton area girls were able to play in the tournament after missing their high school season at William Byrd.
This weekend the Moyer Complex will be the site of the NSA State Youth Fast Pitch tournament, and 54 teams will be in the field. The tourney will be at Moyer, the Salem Civic Center and Oakey Field. And, there will also be a baseball tournament on Billy Sample Field at Kiwanis Park.
If things continue to go well Salem will have some kind of baseball or softball action every weekend through the end of October. However, a dozen of those tournaments also had games scheduled for the Botetourt Sports Complex, and last week the BSC was shut down for the entire fall season.
“This is a sad day for all of us at Botetourt County’s Department of Recreation,” said Botetourt County Director of Recreation and Facilities Jim Farmer. “We had hoped that by the time our fall season came around that the COVID-19 pandemic could be safely managed both on the field and off. However, while the programming we offer and the facilities we provide are economic stimulators and clearly beneficial to youth development and community building, the risk of disease transmission simply remains too high for us to proceed with our normal schedule or planned programming.”
With the Botetourt Sports Complex closed for the fall Shaner and his staff are looking for other venues to help host the coming tournaments.
“We’re going to meet with Roanoke County and hopefully we can use some of their fields,” said Shaner. “The Botetourt Complex is nice, but if we can use Green Hill Park or Darrell Shell we should be fine.”