Lori Burkhart is dangerously wrong in her defense of softball games on the west side of the Washington Monument [letters, June 19.] Although I do not dispute her claim that she has played there for years without problems, some of us aren't so lucky. On June 18 of last year, my girlfriend was struck in the back of the head by a softball as we tried to enjoy a concert at the Sylvan Theater on the Monument grounds.

While she did not suffer serious injuries, I was shocked by the reaction of the players. Not only did they fail to apologize, but one individual became belligerent, screaming that they had just as much right to be there as the 60 people gathered for the concert in their makeshift outfield. Not until I went to get the U.S. Park Police did the players move their game.

Not all softball players are guilty of such boorish behavior. But softball games do interfere with the ability of people to enjoy the Mall. Just as it would be unreasonable to ban softball everywhere, it is unreasonable to allow players to take over the Mall to the detriment of those enjoying other activities.

DAVID G. YOUNG

Washington