Ashlie Gets ’em with the Change Up!

A few weeks ago, Ashlie and I started playing with a new pitch, the change up. For my younger students, this is always the first pitch I introduce them to once fastball mechanics look solid.

Let me first start by saying that there are LOTS of different ways to throw a change up, but ultimately the goal is the same: keep the batter off balance by changing speeds. Regardless of how you throw a change up, the most important thing is for the pitcher to drive off the mound as hard as she would when she throws a fastball. This messes with the batter’s timing and makes it difficult for them to make good contact.

Ashlie has been practicing on her own, and this weekend proved her change up skills after a batter foul tipped her fastball. This is a great time to throw the change up. Way to go Ashlie! Keep up the hard work!


San Ramon Slammers 10U & 12U Seeking Softball Players

Slammers-logoThe San Ramon Slammers are looking for a few 10U and 12U players to complete their summer rosters. Contact Fastpitch Softball Director, Mark Cardoza.

Direct: 510.427.9999
Direct Email:

San Ramon Baseball
P.O. Box 498
San Ramon, Ca 94583

Oakland Vipers U18 – Pitchers Needed!

OaklandVipersThe Oakland Vipers 18 and under Fall softball team is looking for an experienced pitcher.

If interested, please Contact Paul Keener for more information at 510-290-5475 or via

Learn more about the Vipers here.

Heather gets the W!

Heather Cuellar - SEVEN K's
Heather Cuellar – SEVEN K’s

Congrats to Heather Cuellar, Aragon High School’s JV pitcher!

Heather pitched a complete game for the Lady Dons earning a W, with 7 strikeouts! WAY TO GO HEATHER! I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!


Coach Shelly Bollin


Shelly Bollin, University of Oklahoma Softball c. 1987

Today many gathered in my hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas to celebrate the life of a wonderful coach, mentor, and friend, Shelly Bollin.

“Shelly touched the lives of thousands of children through her teaching and coaching. She led her teams to great success over the years, including her state championship team from Brazoswood High School and her National Softball Coach of the Year accolades in 2000.”See more

I was lucky enough to be one of the thousands of children she touched. She was my head coach all four years of high school, and in 2000 we took a magical ride to the State Championship in an undefeated season.

She was our leader.

She was our rock.

She kept us in check.

And she did that by giving us “the look.”

"The Look" Shelly on right; Morgan Anderson on left

“The Look” Shelly on right; Morgan Anderson on left

We got “the look” a lot. The look meant, “Stop doing whatever stupid crap you’re doing. Now.”

We were notorious for goofing off: acting out our favorite movies, dancing, and doing cheer leading stunts. (Yes, cheer leading stunts.)

The look almost always and immediately put our giggles to a halt.

It was time for business.

Coach Bollin knew when to let us have our shenanigans, and when to whip us into gear. And perhaps that was her secret to success.

Coach Bollin, thank you for the memories, the laughs, and the lessons. Rest in peace.

Posing with Coach Bollin at the All-Star Game

Posing with Coach Bollin at the Texas All-Star Game in 2000


Look at what I got in the mail yesterday!

Bobcat Softball - One Pitch @ a Time!

Bobcat Softball – One Pitch @ a Time!

A fellow Bobcat alum sent these AWESOME bracelets to the current squad and lucky me snagged one too.

Back in October, the Bobcats hosted their annual alumni game. I hadn’t made it in years, so I was stoked to finally be there! It was so awesome to see my old teammates and meet some of the other Bobcats from years before and ahead of me.

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I wore that jersey.

10. Years.

Yeesh, I’m getting old. But the pride of being a Bobcat will never fade. There is just something about wearing that uniform. You have to earn it.

You have to work for it.

It costs blood, sweat, and tears, and most will never dig deep enough to understand that feeling.

After the alumni game, we headed to the outfield for a barbeque. Head Coach Ricci Woodard (who started her tenure at Texas State my freshman year and is STILL the coach) asked a few alumni to share some words of encouragement to the current team.

Bobcat Softball Alumni Game 2013

Bobcat Softball Alumni Game 2013

One alumni teammate shared with us that she had worn her Bobcat Softball tshirt with pride under her police uniform every single day. Until one day while on duty, a guy she was trying to catch ripped her shirt.

Uh oh.

I actually feel a little sorry for that guy, because you don’t mess with a Bobcat. But that didn’t stop her from wearing it. She took the tattered shirt and wrapped it around the armor plate along with a picture of her family in her bullet proof vest.

Talk about BOBCAT PRIDE!

Another alum shared with the team her role as a Bobcat. She didn’t get a ton of playing time, but she was an integral player on our team. She was the spark plug; the cheer leader; the one that would make you laugh when you were being too hard on yourself. She was the glue that bound us together as one unit. Her senior year, there was an article written about her. The title: “The Spry One.” I’ll never forget it, because it was about time she got some credit! The message she shared with all of us was, “Know your role.”

When it was my time to share, all I could think of was the simple message written on athletic tape and stuck to my glove. I often stepped back from the pitching rubber, pulled the velcro fastener on my glove up and read that message:

“One pitch at a time.”

It was something I did during games to slow myself down when I felt a little out of control or unfocused. Coach Woodard shared this message with all of us often, and said, “It’s the only way to play this game.”

And guess what? She’s right!

The wild pitch you flung to the back stop two pitches ago DOESN’T MATTER. The big huge clean up hitter (that hit a bomb off you last at bat) that’s on deck now DOESN’T MATTER. The error you made last inning DOESN’T MATTER. And whatever you are planning on doing after the game whether it’s dinner with your family, calling your boyfriend, or studying for your chemistry mid term DOESN’T MATTER. The ONLY way to play this game is

one pitch at a time.

2014 Bobcats, play this game with pride and class. Know your role. Play in the moment, and leave it all on the field this year. If you do, I’ll meet you in Oklahoma on May 29th.



Happy 2014!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2014 is finally here! Which means softball season is right around the corner.

Are you ready?

Did you take advantage of the holiday break from school? Or have you been spending more time on the couch than the field lately?

For those of you who have been consistently practicing the past few months, BRAVO! I’m proud of you, and you will be rewarded come opening day through the last game of the season. But even if you haven’t, it’s not too late to get a jump start.

For all of you, here’s a great guide to setting up your softball goals and making them real.

But what about mental goals?

The mental side of pitching is so, so, so important! Here’s my challenge to you… start thinking about the list below:

  • Your presence on the mound
  • Consistent pre-delivery and approach to the rubber
  • Self-talk
  • Aggressiveness
  • Focus and Intensity
  • Pre-game and In-game visualization
  • Attitude towards other teammates and coaches

These are all CONTROLLABLE aspects of the game, that for you as a pitcher, can help to take your team to the next level. Come see me (or email me or call me) to discuss further. I’m also happy to help you work through your goals.

Let’s make 2014 the year of championships!

Oakland Vipers U18 – Pitchers Needed!

OaklandVipersThe Oakland Vipers 18 and under Fall softball team is looking for two experienced pitchers.

If interested, please Contact Paul Keener for more information at 510-290-5475 or via

Learn more about the Vipers here.


1710 Lincoln Ave., Alameda, CA 94501

1710 Lincoln Ave., Alameda, CA 94501

School’s back in session and fall ball is revving up! Get started with a pitching/hitting mini clinic series August 24 & 31. See details below.

Flyer download here.

Intermediate/Advanced Softball & Baseball Players Welcome!
Girls & Boys


Mini-clinics series (2-­‐4 players) for softball and baseball players that are at an intermediate or advanced level.


August 24 & August 31
*Mini-Clinic is a TWO weekend series


Next Level Softball/Baseball Academy
1710 Lincoln Ave
Alameda, CA 94501


9:00am – 10:30am-­‐(Softball Pitching or Hitting Advance)
11:00am – 12:30pm-­‐(Softball Pitching or Hitting Intermediate)
1:00pm – 2:30pm-­‐(Baseball Pitching or Hitting Advance)
3:00pm – 4:30pm-­‐(Baseball Pitching or Hitting Intermediate)



  • 3 hours of lessons over two weekends
  • Video analysis of all players
  • Free Next Level t‐shirt

To Sign Up:
Please call 510‐521-­3385 or email

Please include:

Name of Participant

Pitching or Hitting

Intermediate (11am ­‐ 12:30pm) or Advanced (9‐10:30am)

Baseball or Softball

Next Level Softball Baseball Academy

Next Level Softball Baseball Academy

Next Level Softball Baseball Academy

I have a new softball home!

Next Level Softball Baseball Academy will be where ALL of my private pitching lessons will be held.

This place is AWESOME.

When you’re not pitching with me, head over to the hitting cages!

Next Level has HomePlate Pitching machines which are state-of-the-art. These machines can be set to random mode with 6 different pitches and speeds of up to 70 mph for softball and 90 mph for baseball. OR you can set it to work on a specific pitch!

Click here to view a virtual tour of the space!

Here’s the address:
1710 Lincoln Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501