This fastpitch season, the ladies fastpitch team has recently hired a new coach and coaching staff. The team is now run by head coach, Jonathan Paul and his coaching assistants, Caitlyn Paul and Bryan Adams. Paul stated he wants to “‘Change the Way’ we warm up, the way we practice, and the way we compete.”
Coach Paul has been coaching for over 10 years and coaches a competitive fastpitch team called Illusion. Paul has been a great fit, passing on his softball IQ to all the players by going over repetition drills and correcting errors.
“Each practice, every player gets better with their skills, and the team improves as a whole.”
The number of girls that showed out this year are concerningly low. With a total of 13 girls there is only one team, Varsity, to compete in league. The team consists of 1 freshman, 3 sophomores, 7 juniors, and 2 seniors. Although numbers are low, it allows Paul and his assistant coaches to easily work individually with each player during practice.
Most sports have already started their season, already playing other teams, but fastpitch hasn’t been able to play a team yet. They have only been outside 3 times in 3 weeks. The rest, they have been undercover in either the small or big gym. Even though the gym isn’t as big as a field, they girls still put in the work and maximize the space they have to improve their skills and the team’s skills.
This week is the start of league games. The fastpitch team has 3 games this week against Centralia, Chehalis, and Aberdeen. Other teams have already played non-league games, getting 3 to 4 games in before league play. The Wolves fastpitch team has been unlucky, getting rained out on their first game against Capital, and then getting rained out on the make up game last Friday. Our fastpitch team, is the only team in league that has yet to play a game.
Monday, March 27, mother nature was gracious enough to hold off the rain for our lady wolves to get in a game. Winning 7-1 against the Centralia Tigers, both the players and the coaches knew that a month of hard work paid off. There were only few mistakes, but that didn’t stop the team from getting the job done. Maranda Hall, the freshman catcher, did an amazing job of stepping up and taking charge on the field by communicating with her infielders and outfielders. Junior, Sariah Payne, had a nice hit over the right fielder’s head for a double, along with having 2 girls score.
Looking over the past couple of years, Black Hills Fastpitch has won small amounts of games, but with a first game win, the atmosphere of the whole program will change. Coach Paul definitely changed the way and it will be exciting to see what the season brings.
By Taylor Elliott