Great Softball

Great Softball

Postby 14OldSchool » Mon May 11, 2015 3:36 pm

If you haven’t noticed something great going on in class B high school softball the past couple of years in ND and the region, take note. Softball is increasingly more and more popular and more competitive as well. I think there was a time, a very short time ago, where East Grand Forks, Hawley other Minnesota teams were far superior to the Nodak side. I won’t say it has shifted completely, but it’s a much closer comparison.
Softball seems to be gaining popularity with the kids/players as well as fans/spectators. Newer programs that have started in the past few years seem to have longer benches with more and more seasoned and skilled upperclassmen (indicating they are staying with it) improving greatly. Programs that have been in existence for years seem to have great numbers of kids participating year in and year out, consistently. Some team’s dugouts seem overloaded with happily chanting and enthusiastic ballplayers. It’s great to see.
The skill levels are improving; pitching, hitting and fielding have improved vastly in the region. There is a LOT of great pitching in the area (I am more familiar with eastern ND & Western MN – I’m sure there are names that fans could add from the western region as well). A few standouts; Stowe from Thompson, Amundson from Central Cass, Loll from Hankinson-Fairmount and Klinert from Kindred, have all been steadily improving since their freshmen years. These girls throw heat with great placement on their selection of pitches. There are many more quality pitchers (juniors and sophomores) behind this group that have learned from better coaching and camps, the leadership by example of these seniors, and the hard work it takes to excel in a very tough spot.
Of course, with improved pitching, the hitters have also had to improve to match. Murphy and Perkins from Hillsboro-CV, Roesler and Romsdahl from C.Cass, Asp from Hankinson, Overby and McHugo from Thompson all hit for power and average against great pitching. Quality at bats are the norm, not the exception. You even see a few head over the fence. It is great ball and worth checking out.
The defense & fielding skills also have taken quantum leaps forward. The instincts and reactions of the fielders to turn double plays (a difficult task when the bags are only 60’ apart), run down short pop flies in the grass, or dive for an inning ending line shot have greatly improved from 4-5 years ago. Errors are down from all positions. Catchers gun out runners who get just a littletoo big of a lead. The coaches of these kids, from grade school through high should be proud of the collective improvement.
If you go to a game, look around at the fans. It isn’t just parents anymore. It is fans who appreciate quality and competitive ball. I’ve seen crowds at softball games the past few years that rival many basketball crowds in size and enthusiasm. They cheer for great plays on both sides - sportsmanship like you read about. It is nice to see, even if the rival team’s first baseman just robbed your team of a base hit and a run by stabbing a one-hopper between first and second, jumping up and, gunning out the runner trying to make it home. Region tourneys are coming up…if you can, go to a game and see what you are missing.
"You are in the Army. You're in my Army. Everyday between three and five." - Coach Norman Dale
User avatar
NDPreps Reserve
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:13 am

Re: Great Softball

Postby scoobyx2 » Wed May 20, 2015 7:12 am

You are definitely right that fastpitch softball is really taking off in North Dakota. Class A has really stepped up, and we are now seeing players who have been on traveling teams since they were 10. Pitching has improved, and even backup pitchers have 3 or 4 various pitches that they can throw rather than just a fastball and an occasional changeup. Competition is really tough because so many players are playing against each other all summer, and several players are now getting looked at by colleges.
NDPreps Hall of Fame
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:19 pm

Return to Girls softball

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest