In June, a donation of a fastpitch fence was made to Kokomo Municipal Stadium by the Visitor’s Bureau, county commissioners, and several youth organizations to allow for fastpitch softball games to be played on the turf. This weekend, the first-ever fastpitch softball games will be played at the stadium.

A 14U tournament, featuring six teams, will use the field in competition. Three of the teams are from Howard County. 

“It is significant in the fact that it’s our first fastpitch event at the stadium,” said Jim Clouse, event organizer. “We had to go through securing a temporary fence. Now we have a way we have tested and tried to make sure the mound is secure on the turf. We’ve done all of those processes.

“The main thing is to show the community that softball is viable and really alive in the area,” he said. “There are lot of girls playing, and it’s an opportunity to see that happen in the stadium on such a grand stage.”

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, the six teams will participate in the tournament, utilizing the new turf pitcher’s mound and fastpitch temporary fencing that was introduced to the stadium in June.

Clouse has been working tirelessly to bring fastpitch softball to Municipal Stadium. He was hoping with the fencing and mound improvements for the stadium, collegiate softball would come to Kokomo. 

“It’s going to open the door,” Clouse said. “The plans are to have a college clinic here. I’ve talked to Notre Dame’s coach, and they’ve indicated they’d love to come down if we can get a date secured. There are a lot of rules to clear with D1, but they want to come down. I’ve talked to Purdue as well.”

His next goal is to bring a college game day event to the stadium. Clouse would like to see three to five National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) teams to play a round-robin event at Municipal Stadium. He said there are a handful of softball players that played for the Howard County Thunder Fastpitch teams.

“I’d love to get them home at the stadium,” he said.

Clouse also would like to see a National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League game played in Kokomo. He said teams in the NPF travel to non-home fields to help promote the game. In order to do so, one of the teams would have to give up a home game to travel, and there is a cost involved.

“I would love to get one of those opportunities to play here,” Clouse said. 

The 14U tournament will play both Saturday and Sunday at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. Games will begin at 9 a.m. on both days with the championship game scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free for the games.