Softball players at Bruce, Calhoun City and Vardaman described the first season of slow pitch softball in Calhoun County as “slow.”
“It’s too slow. I don’t like it,” said Lady Wildcat Charlesy Lovorn. “It’s like watching baseball. It takes forever.”
“Fast pitch definitely has a much faster pace,” said Lady Ram Genna Grace Edmondson.
Laken Shankle, who starts at catcher for the Bruce fast pitch Lady Trojans, said the difference in pitching is a big adjustment.
“I don’t like the waiting to hit the ball,” Shankle said. “It’s definitely different.”
“It’s harder to hit for me because you have to wait on the pitch,” Lady Trojan Jessica Aron said.
Other adjustments to the slow pitch game involve the lack of bunting, base stealing and foul balls counting as a third strike.
“The base running is a lot different,” said Lady Ram Whittney Gee. “That’s been a big transition.”
“Bunting is a big part of my game,” Lovorn said.
“I really don’t like the foul on the third strike,” Lady Wildcat Courtny Norman said. “You can’t battle like you can in fast pitch.”
There was one consistent positive among all the players.
“I think it’s going to get our defense prepared for fast pitch,” Shankle said.
“I don’t think it hurts us getting better defensively,” Lovorn said.
“You do get balls hit to you a lot more often in slow pitch,” Edmondson said.
Calhoun City Coach Nick Doles, whose team is 7-5 thus far this season, said he believes the team is benefitting from the slow pitch experience.
The entire Lady Wildcat fast pitch team is also playing slow pitch.
That’s the case in Vardaman, also, where the Lady Rams are 5-7 this season.
“Anytime you’re throwing and catching that’s a positive,” Vardaman Coach Billy Dill said.
Bruce took a different approach with their team. Only approximately half the fast pitch team is playing slow pitch due to conflicts with band, cheerleading and other fall activities.
“We mostly have seventh and eighth graders playing,” Bruce slow pitch coach Josh Dowdy said. His girls are 2-7 this season.
All three coaches said playing as an independent, with no chance at playoffs has made the season difficult for the players.
“It’s harder to get motivated when you’re not playing for a region title or playoffs,” Dill said. “We’ve had to battle that.”
That should be remedied next school year, but in the meantime all three schools will look forward to the spring.
“Fast pitch is definitely more exciting,” Dill said.