Cass-Traill Blazers savor second chance for softball season
HILLSBORO-- Tuesday night marked the start of the brand new summer softball season in North Dakota, the Impact Softball League. It’s not the return to the diamond the Cass-Traill Blazers were thinking of when it came to their season opener, but this year takes on an even bigger meaning.
“A little bit of nervousness, but mostly excitement, it’s been a long time coming,” said Head Coach Cory Erickson.
Let alone the unusually cool and dreary June night.
“No definitely not softball weather out here, I prefer to be playing in 80 degree weather. The girls are probably not so much, they’re enjoying this more than I am,” said Erickson.
As long as the field is ready though, the show goes on.
“I can’t wait to play honestly,” said Blazer MacKenzie Iverson.
Something as simple as softball, brings the town of Hillsboro together for an annual summer tradition.
“We kind of have to have a lot of things fall into place for this to happen. So if there’s a will there’s a way and we just kind of find a way to be able to do it,” said Erickson.
“It’s been a good thing at our house I know and for us to come out and watch them play, this is exciting. Even us adults haven’t had much to look forward to for outside activities wise, so it’s a good step in the right direction,” said parent Erick Ptacek
The thought of even having a season for Class B teams seemed nearly impossible just a few weeks ago.
“It was hard on me because this was the one thing I was looking forward to all year, the start of my senior season. I didn't plan on playing this summer, just before college I kinda wanted to work. I was like I might as well do it because I didn't get a senior season,” said senior Molly Knutspvig
“That hurt for us just as much as it hurt for them. So this is just our way to hopefully give back to them, give them the chance to play along with their classmates one last time and just get one good last sendoff,” said Erickson.
Despite a different format to summer play, the Blazers still get the opportunity to step to the plate and take a swing at a season that will be remembered for years to come.
“It’s really exciting for me and it means a lot to me that I’m able to play and able to get back on the field and just do what I love,” said Iverson.
In addition to practicing social distancing during games, one of the more notable changes is the length of the Impact Softball season. The Blazers have only eight regular season games scheduled, but could add more with tournament play.