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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Hitting Dingers

Coming off fast-pitch softball’s best season in many years where they went 26-10, the spring slow-pitch season is starting off with a great group of girls who are determined to beat last year’s slow-pitch record of 21-17. While not every fall fast-pitch player joins for the spring slow-pitch season (some play other sports or enjoy the time off), the bulk of the team enjoys getting out and getting dirty on the field.

“We really consider this an extension of the fast-pitch season,” says 4th year Head Coach Chris Jensen. “We really use it to get some of the younger girls some varsity experience, and it’s really good to work on baserunning and defense. Even though it’s a little more laid back for me as a coach, and fun for the girls, they get a ton of action in the field. No one is striking out, lots of balls get put in play and lots of balls go over the fence, so it’s a pretty good time.”

Coach Jensen says that he’s really excited to watch some underclassmen slow pitch this year. “Sophomores Jaelyn Imani and Macee Buck both have some pop, so they will definitely get a hold of a few, and Cassidy Patterson and Andee Radar, who both started most every game as freshmen this year, will also get some good playing time and be fun to watch.”

Joining these four will be about sixteen other girls, not a single one of which is a Senior. ‘All the Seniors are playing other sports or are just ready to move on to college or have other things going on,” says Jensen, “but that’s what is great about slow pitch, the younger girls get PT (playing time) and really get involved in the culture of our team.”

As any successful coach knows, that culture needs to start as early as possible, and for now, it starts with 6th grade intramurals at the local middle schools, and then with the two middle school teams that draw players from all 3 middle schools. “Unlike other sports where each school might have a team, we have to combine the schools to form teams because of pitching. Not every school has enough arms to make a team, so it’s best for us to combine the schools and have an “A” team and a “B” team. The coaches there do a great job introducing the sport to the middle school kids. In fact, we have them practice with the varsity team here at the high school field for the first few weeks so they can get a sense of the culture and see the older girls play” says Jensen.

It would be impossible to have so many girls on the same field, without the beautiful new facility that was provided by the district. The indoor facility allows the team to practice rain or shine, and it gives the coaches the ability to split up practices more efficiently and get in more drills. This “sure hasn’t hurt and has probably helped” the team in the win/loss column according to Jensen.   If you want to see some long bombs, some hard hits, and some slick fielding, check out the Slow-Pitch Softball team this spring!

Robert Faulkhttps://enidmonthly.com
Robert R. Faulk is the Publisher and Editor of the Enid Monthly. Robert graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Political Science and has his J.D. from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He is originally from Oklahoma City, but is happy to have lived in Enid since 2004 and calls it "home."



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