A middle school softball player went before the Dunwoody City Council Monday to advocate for better facilities for her team. 

Alyssa Rosenkoff plays softball for the Junior Wildcats, a softball program affiliated with Peachtree Middle School that feeds into the team at Dunwoody High School. Alyssa and her father, Matt Rosenkoff, spoke before the council during public comment at a Nov. 29 meeting, asking the city to use tax dollars to build new facilities. 

“I’m speaking as a voice for all the girls who play softball [at Peachtree Middle School] and for Dunwoody,” Alyssa said. 

Alyssa Rosenkoff addressing the Dunwoody City Council at its Nov. 29 meeting.

According to Alyssa and her father, the Junior Wildcats do not have a field of their own to play on. The baseball fields near Peachtree Middle School, which are located at Brook Run Park, are not equipped to handle softball games, said Matt, who volunteered to help create the team back in July.

In an email, Matt said one of the main reasons the softball team cannot use the baseball fields is because boys play baseball using a raised mound for pitching, and the mounds on the field are “unmovable.”

“Even if they were removed, while we could find solutions for base distance and nail down pitcher mounds, another big impediment is that during the school softball season, the fields are in such heavy use for baseball during hours outside of school hours and as a result seem to not be available for softball use,” Matt said. 

Instead, the softball team plays on the field at Dunwoody High School, which they share with the junior varsity and varsity team at that school.

“Dunwoody High School coaches were incredibly supportive to allow us to use the field when they were not using it,” Matt said to the council. “Obviously, they got first priority.”

During the meeting, Alyssa elaborated on the differences in quality between the fields the softball players use and the baseball field near the middle school. The baseball fields at Brook Run Park are made of turf, she said, while the fields the softball team plays on are dirt. 

“They have better quality stuff,” Alyssa said of the baseball fields. “They have lights, they have bathrooms … we have a regular porta potty, which is not always there, and we do not have lights. So during night games, we unfortunately cannot really see very well.” 

In an emailed statement, Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker said the city is aware of the need for better softball facilities. In the first draft of a parks master plan for a new park at 5435 Roberts Drive, the city included athletic fields where a variety of sports could be played, including softball. The city plans to share an updated draft concept plan at an open house on Dec. 6

“We know we have a deficiency in athletic facilities for a variety of sports,” Walker said in an email. “As we plan our parks and programs, our goal is to address those deficiencies while taking into consideration the needs and desires of all our residents.”

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.