DEER PARK, Texas - Day in and day out in Deer Park, girls, young and old, leave everything out on the softball field.
"They take it just as serious as the boys," said softball coach Jess Holt. "A lot of them are better athletes than the boys to be honest with you."
These girls are good. They're proud, and some are even champions. But it's the boys that are playing with perks.
"It sucks, it totally sucks," said softball coach Kris Anne Mathews.
Deer Park just unveiled a new youth baseball facility this week, less than 100 yards from the softball fields that need some sprucing up too.
"None of the scoreboards work," said Mathews.
There's peeling paint, rusting signs, shattered lights and it's been up to families to keep the fields playable for at least 20 years.
"I'd love for them to enjoy something new and not rundown," said parent Chris Espitia.
Parents say their girls were promised more when voters approved a new sales tax in 2015.
Parents want to know why a new baseball facility is up and their girls are still waiting.
"Everybody thought it was going to happen immediately," said Espitia.
KHOU 11 News reached out to the city of Deer Park. It says the baseball fields were renovated first with a different set of funds.
They add the softball fields will be renovated and redone with the money voters approved, but it will take three more years.
"That's a long time, a real long time," said Espitia. "Tax was passed in 2015. It'll be almost four years later until our girls will enjoy a new field. That's a long time considering the boys are playing on a new field."
Deer Park admits the process is slow, but says facilities were prioritized by an outside consulting group.
So in the meantime, these girls can only keep swinging away and hope they get to one day take the fields they deserve.
"Patience is a virtue," said Mathews.
"All we're asking is for equality, that boys and girls are treated equally, no more, no less," said Espitia.
Below is the city of Deer Park's full statement:
The Type B sales tax for parks and recreation projects was passed by the voters in May 2015. The renovation of the girls softball facilities at the Youth Sports Complex was one of the seven (7) Type B projects included in the Type B proposition. The scheduling of the youth athletic complex renovations was generally in accordance with the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which was adopted in 2013. In the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, existing facilities features that were evaluated as being most in need of repair were given highest priority. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan identified the Minchen Athletic Complex as being most in need of repair and was thus given highest priority of the youth athletic complexes. (Again, no Type B funding was spent on the renovation of the Minchen Athletic Complex).