Judson’s first fastpitch clinic a success

Published 11:44 pm Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Judson College softball team held a fastpitch clinic for approximately 50 budding Selma prospects on Saturday.

The clinic gave softball players aged 9-14 an opportunity to enhance their skills and learn proper technique from Judson coach Lee Jones and his players.

“We touched on the basics of all the areas of offense and defense as far as the skills — the actual hitting and fielding of the ball,” said Jones. “We’ve done a lot of different drills to get them familiar with what they’re supposed to do in different situations. I have seen several girls that have a lot of talent.”

Email newsletter signup

The clinic marked a homecoming for Judson junior and former Meadowview player Elyse McIntyre. She finished her prep career just as local schools made the switch from slowpitch to fastpitch and viewed her chance to instruct as an opportunity to give back.

“I know that it’s been kind of tough for a place like Selma to grow in fastpitch,” said McIntyre. “Over the years, we’ve worked to try to get the program built up so we could go off and compete with other places. I felt obligated to come back and work with the people that want to be out here, and hopefully make Selma grow in fastpitch.”

The drills and techniques Saturday were not intended to have an immediate impact. They are meant to provide a foundation. As a result, each skill and drill came with a heap of encouragement.

“I feel like I’m here to encourage the girls and let them know softball is not just natural ability,” said Whitney Bryars. “Not everybody’s natural at this sport. [We’ve encouraged] them and let them know that anything’s possible.”

It seems the combination worked. Sierra Hargreaves felt that she came away from the session with tools that will improve her game.

“It helps me with me being able to improve my softball skills because I wasn’t really that good,” said Hargreaves. “I learned a whole lot more about softball. But now, I can hit the ball further and I can throw it harder.”

Gabryelle Dunning got an opportunity to improve her pitching technique.

“ I learned how to pitch faster buy bringing my arm around,” she said.

Overall, for a first effort, Jones was pleased with the turnout and plans on conducting another clinic in the future.

“I hope these skills they learned and practiced will help them at the schools they play at and with the recreation department,” said Jones. “I hope they want to return when we do it again.”