Softball is back in Halifax County.

Monday night marked the start of the Halifax Dixie Softball season as teams took the field to play in the first competitive games in the county in more than three months.

It was a hot and muggy evening at the Mary Bethune Complex fields, but for those on the field — and for the ones who gathered to watch the games — it didn’t seem to matter. For the players, coaches, parents, friends and other family members that have been waiting for months to get back out to the field, Monday night was a welcome event.

Even as play resumed, there were plenty of precautions in place to ensure the health and safety and to follow guidelines.

Each team had its own set of softballs that were only used by their players. The team at bat had two to three players inside the dugout that were next to bat. The other players would go and sit on the bleachers beside the dugout at least 6 feet apart, marked by taped X’s.

While the precautions and other changes were a first for all involved, the action on the field was the same: the sound of the ball hitting the mitt, the crack of the bat, the dust that flew up as the runners rounded the bases and the swell of the crowd as someone knocked a home run over the fence in left field.

To end the evening, team members yelling “good game” across to their opponent’s dugout replaced the ritual postgame handshake line.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV