Softball isn't just for kids.

Nearly 350 adults prove that point on a weekly basis during the spring at Jack C. Fisher Park's softball complex, which plays host to three adult-centric leagues on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Co-ed leagues take over the complex's four adjacent softball fields on Wednesdays, followed the next evening by men's league competition.

There's always friendly -- and sometimes competitive -- banter, friends and family show up with collapsible chairs from home, and the concession stand remains open during the games.

Some teams are work-based, sporting names like the US Bank Bombers, Kentucky Tile or the Southern Star Spirit, while others are simply made up of good friends getting together for a fun time.

"I'm in an office all day and wanted to get out and do something fun," said Victoria Wilson, 28. "We came across this on the internet. My stepdaughter started playing softball this spring, and I remembered how much I loved it."

And so, Wilson called up some friends, and The Minions -- made up of members from Daviess and McLean counties -- were born.

"Some teams take it a lot more seriously than we do," said Kurtis Sunset, 29, with a laugh. "Obviously, there's our name, and we like to dress up and act a fool."

The softball leagues, sponsored by the Owensboro Parks & Recreation Department, have varying skill levels, as well.

"Some of these teams have played together for five or six years," Sunset added. "We threw this team together this year."

"In about two weeks, actually," Wilson chimed in.

Other teams, like those found in the co-ed intermediate league, are a little more competitive.

All games are played in the slow-pitch format, in which a pitcher lobs balls into home plate from behind a protective screen in the circle. It's not uncommon to see towering home runs clear the fences at Fisher Park or to see teams turn double plays on the defensive side. Many squads opt to show their solidarity by wearing matching T-shirt team jerseys, but it's not a requirement.

Games are played to seven innings, with run rules in place along the way. The regular season lasts 10 weeks, with a postseason tournament that follows. Each championship-winning and runner-up team receives specially-made T-shirts, as well.

Every game has its own assigned umpire, and the fields are in pristine condition before competitors ever show up for the day.

"It's amazing," Sunset said. "They do really well with the fields the time. They keep them clean. When it rains, they get them ready pretty quick, so we can pretty much plan on being here. I've played in other sofbtall leagues, and they struggle a lot with their fields. This one is really nice."

Allison Schepers, recreation specalist for Owensboro Parks & Recreation, gets to see first-hand just how much enjoyment the softball players experience on a weekly basis.

"I think it's super fun," Schepers said. "I went to college for this. I graduated with a recreation degree, so this is what I live for -- providing fun opportunities like this for people in this area.

"You can tell just by how much they get into it. They take this seriously. They have a lot of fun, but they really get into it."

More information can be found on the Owensboro Parks & Recreation website.

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