Seeing country on long journey to Pittsfield for Babe Ruth 16-U Softball World Series


PITTSFIELD -- It is 841 miles from Louisville, Ky., to Pittsfield.

"I only know that because I checked on MapQuest," said Wendy Thomas of Louisville. "It’s about a 13-hour drive."

Yes, some of the coaches and fans in the 2014 Babe Ruth 16-U Softball World Series eschewed flying here, opting instead for multi-hour, and in some cases, multi-day excursions.

Thomas and her husband at least had an excuse: They drove up with some of the equipment for their team from Fern Creek.

"We just wanted to make sure the equipment got here," she said. "If you lose your equipment, you’re SOL."

The Thomases made the excursion somewhat fun. They left Louisville early on Monday morning, stayed in Erie Pa., on Monday night, and had a chance to visit Niagara Falls the next day before arriving in Pittsfield.

"But it’s still a long drive," said Wendy Thomas. "Especially when we hit the construction in Ohio."

That’s long, but Riley McKay, 12, and her father Kevin McKay, spent 23 hours in the car over two days, driving up from Florida.

"I don’t know why we drove," said Riley McKay. "We drive everywhere."

Kevin McKay is the head coach of the North Tampa team.

Still, while the drive was long, young Riley said she was struck by the various topographical features of the country through which they drove.

"It’s beautiful country," she said. "We went through some mountains, and the view was spectacular."

Mac Williams, 9, sister of Fern Creek star Madison Williams and daughter of Fern Creek coach Stan, also made the trip via vehicle.

She didn’t have any good driving stories, but she did see a bear in Hancock when she and the rest of the team were leaving the Jiminy Peak resort Thursdady morning.

Wait a minute, she was asked, aren’t there bears in Kentucky?

"Yes," she said with a smile. "But this is the first time I saw one up here."

Andrew Gagne, 10, also drove to Pittsfield with his family. But he’s from Rochester, N.H..

"It’s about a 3-hour, 40-minute drive." he said.

Gagne’s sister, Alexa Gagne, plays for the Rochester team.

Andrew has never been to Berkshire County, "but I’ve been to Boston many, many times."

Gagne and his family make the Boston trip for obvious reasons: He’s a Boston sports fan. All the teams.

The discussion turned to basebll. Gagne said he was excited about the trade of Red Sox players Jon Lester and Johnny Gomes for Oakland star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

"That was a good trade for both teams," he said. "They get Lester and we get a very talented player. And Lester’s a free agent after this year! We might still get him back! I’m pretty excited."


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