Renton Little League breaks in new softball field

Players hit the field after renovation at Kiwanis Park.

On a brisk morning Feb. 10, Renton Little League debuted a new turf infield on a softball field at Kiwanis Park.

The field is the first of its kind for softball players in the Renton area, and over 150 girls will potentially use the new turf. A field of this quality gives girls access all year round and is much safer than poor, pot-hole ridden fields that softball players have been playing on.

“For one, we don’t have weather issues. Also, without having dirt, weeds and everything in the way, it is more competitive. They are going to see what it is like to play on better fields,” said Renton Little League President Kadie Newman.

Renton Little League used to play softball games primarily at McKnight Middle School. The two fields are a day and night difference for the players on the field and the parents in the stands.

“It is the best field that we’re going to have in the Renton area ... It’s nice to see that they’re (City of Renton) building something specifically for girls,” said Newman.

The turnout for the softball assessment day was a new high for Renton Little League. The league is adding two teams on the softball side of things.

“It’s going to bring more kids out and more people out to play the game,” said Carl Bryant, a majors softball coach. “It’s a great move (to invest in softball facilities). You’re seeing girls being more active in softball, you’re seeing the community grow and play. There is as much focus on girls sports as there is boys.”

Renton Little League uses the City of Renton fields, and giving kids an opportunity to play games year-round is a special connection to the city: “I think it shows they are investing into the community,” Bryant said

The park improvement project concluded on Aug. 8, 2023, marking the end of a 17-month long restoration process. Funding for the park came from the 2019 Renton parks bond funds, parks impact mitigation fees, 2019 King County Proposition No. 1 Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy funding, and local funding sources, according to the city.

“I just want to thank all the parents and volunteers that help Renton Little League and thank you to the City of Renton who has come out today to be a part of this. The parents, volunteers and the coaches give up so much of their time to come out here and coach the kids,” Newman said.

The season starts April 20 and can’t come soon enough for Bryant and players: “We’re ready to play. We can hardly wait,” Bryant said.