Category Archives: Softball

Congrats 12U Fremont Flyers

12U Fremont Flyers

12U Fremont Flyers

Congrats to the 12U Fremont Flyers for taking 1st place last weekend at the Pleasanton Summer Classic! Of the 15 teams in their division, they were on top all weekend. Sam Tulabing pitched one complete game with 5 strikeouts, and came in for relief in another. Good job Flyers! Keep up the hard work!

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WCWS

WCWS-SoftballIt’s my faaaaaaaavorite time of year: the end of the season when you look back at all your hard work. And then you look in front of you to see where it’s taken you. Did you end up where you wanted to be? Or did the season get cut short?

For 8 teams out of the 335 Division I softball programs across the nation, their season will continue at the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, OK.

Jealous. 🙂

Jealous, because while playing at Texas State University, it was all about WCWS. That was the focus. That was the goal. Unfortunately, we never made it.

But it didn’t stop us from trying. At the beginning of our off-season, I cut out a bunch of little pieces of paper with the letters “WCWS” on them. I gave them to my teammates and said, “Put these up where you can see them all the time – on the bathroom sink mirror, on the fridge, in your car, on your notebooks, in the dugout, EVERYWHERE!”

(I wasn’t kidding in my previous blog post about making goals, writing them down, and putting them EVERYWHERE.)

In two of my four years playing for Texas State, the Bobcats made it to the Regional Final Championship – ONE GAME away from going to the World Series.

One.

But in looking back at it, I’m far from being disappointed since the winning pitchers for the opposing teams (Texas and Arizona) were Olympic starters Cat Osterman and Jennie Finch. When you get an opportunity to play against the very best, you chalk it up to an incredible experience and swallow your pride.

But still… just a little jealous.

Mostly, I’m super excited to watch some damn good softball on tv – starting Thursday! Here’s the schedule.

The 8 lucky teams competing this weekend are: (I added links to all of them so you can scope out the team roster, coaches, standings, etc.)

Guess who I’m rooting for???? TEXAS of course! Hook ’em! Texas fight!

14-U California Crossfire Take 1st

Haley Santacruz

Haley Santacruz

Congrats to the 14-U California Crossfire! The Crossfire won their tournament last weekend in Sacramento.

“All weekend long, every girl at one time or another made a crucial hit or play!…we asked Haley Santacruz from the 12-U to help us out to finish our spring season, and boy did she!” said Coach Bill Mouat.

Haley pitched several games for the weekend, including the championship game (final score 7-2). She shut down players almost 2 years older than her. Way to go, Haley!!

Keep up the hard work, Crossfire! Way to finish up strong for the spring season!

14U California Crossfire

14U California Crossfire

Congrats to the Castro Valley Synergy!

Congratulations to the Castro Valley Synergy for qualifying for the PFG National Tournament! The tourney will be held this July in Irving, California. Keep up the hard work!!

Castro Valley Synergy

Castro Valley Synergy

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Elbow to Hip Arm Whip

The arm whip is one of the most important parts of the pitch. If you’re not whipping, you’re pushing. And if you’re pushing, the ball is more than likely slow. This means your mechanics and timing are off.

In order to whip the ball properly, you MUST get your elbow behind your hip. I see too many pitchers with their elbow locked out and/or with their weight out in front. What does this make the pitcher do? Lean over and push the ball. Pushing the ball is slow. Whipping the ball is fast!

Below are a few examples of some of the very best pitchers in the world. The videos are in slow motion. Pay attention to the release. Where is the elbow? BEHIND THE HIP! Beautiful!

Cat Osterman
(Olympic Gold & Silver medalist. Cat was recently inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. WOW! Cat and I went to the same pitching coach, Tim Timmons, in Houston, Texas.)
Amanda Scarborough
(Amanda pitched for Texas A&M University. I pitched for Texas State – yes, there was a bit of a rivalry! Amanda is sponsored by Worth. I’m in no way telling you to purchase a power drive. I have one – we will use it eventually. I just love the slow motion in this video. She has GREAT mechanics.)

Sarah Pauly
(Sarah was an All-American during her career at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. She is also a seven-year veteran with the NPF – National Pro Fastpitch. She’s an incredible pitcher.)


Sam Records 30 Ks

Sam Tulabing

Sam Tulabing

Sam Tulabing has started the season off recording 30 strikeouts in 13 innings! Wow!

Not only has she been keeping runners off the bases while in the pitching circle, but she has also delivered offensively with 2 triples.

Way to go! Keep up the hard work, Sam!

The Backwards Pitch

Lizzy throws her “Backwards Pitch.” Possibly legal, not recommended, but definitely fun!

P.S. Happy birthday!

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

smart goal setting conceptIt’s the beginning of the year, and softball season is around the corner. It’s time to start practicing and getting ready! But before you pick up the ball, sit down and think about what you want accomplish. Goal setting is very important in becoming a successful softball player.

I like to use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting format, because it really helps define exactly what you want to accomplish and gives you a better idea of how to get there. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Download this!!! –> S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet

Here’s the break down:

Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:

*Who: Who is involved?
*What: What do I want to accomplish?
*Where: Identify a location.
*When: Establish a time frame.
*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Become a better pitcher.” But a specific goal would be, “Master the curve ball spin and practice 3 days a week with Dad in the backyard.”

Measurable – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. (I can help you with this if you’re stuck!)

When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……
How much? How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Relevant – Is your goal worth working hard to accomplish? Goals should be relevant to the direction you want to take in your softball career. You may be involved in other sports and want to excel in them, but your softball goals should only be about SOFTBALL. Furthermore, if you are setting goals about pitching, try to stay away from some of the other positions you play. Or keep your goals offense or defense based. By keeping goals aligned with this, you’ll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want.

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to learn how to throw a rise ball, when do you want to feel comfortable throwing it in a game? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by the beginning of summer season”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

So… what are your goals? Write them down and put them somewhere you’ll see them often. You can even make copies and put them in lots of places. I like to have one on my bathroom mirror, in the car, and by my computer.

Use the worksheet! S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet

Is it Harder to Hit a Baseball or a Softball?

Sport Science is a show originally aired on FSN that breaks down the physics of sports and athletics. In this episode, Jennie Finch, one of the most famous Olympic Softball Pitchers in history, is studied and put to the test. The question: Is it harder to hit a baseball or a softball?

Here are a few takeaways from the show:

  1. Jennie BROKE the equipment that measures the force on the ball. (Point, softball.)
  2. Reaction time from the release of the ball to the plate:
    Baseball – .395 seconds vs. Softball – .350 seconds (Another point! Softball – 2, Baseball – 0)
  3. It is harder to hit a rising softball than a curving (or dropping) baseball, because it’s easier to drop your hands to the ball than raise them. Especially with such little reaction time. (I do believe we have a clear winner.)

Put Softball Back into the Olympics

USA SoftballLike most you, I’ve been watching the 2012 Olympics and, it just feels different this year. Of course I’m excited watching the best athletes in world compete in their sports, but I also have mixed emotions: pride, hope, anxiety, nostalgia, sadness, and frustration.

Sadness and frustration because softball is not a part of the Summer Olympics in London. “[It] was dropped from the Olympic program when it failed to garner a majority of the 105 votes cast. The final vote: 52-52 with one abstention was heartbreakingly close. One vote cost softball its spot on the Olympic program. And [to] hear many of those IOC members mistakenly thought of softball as women’s baseball, it’s even sadder.” (ESPNLosAngeles.com)

What’s more surprising, is that the MLB is a huge deciding factor for softball getting back into the Olympics.

“Neither softball nor baseball is getting back onto the Olympic program until major league baseball decides it’s willing to create a 10-day break in its schedule to allow its players to compete in the Olympics — as the NHL does with hockey and the NBA and WNBA with basketball.

Softball’s fate is tied to baseball, so the two sports need to present a united front in their effort to re-enter the Olympic program.”(ESPNLosAngeles.com)

Besides the MLB, more efforts are being made to educate others and get our favorite sport back in 2020, but that is 8 years away! I think about all the young girls that are missing out on such an amazing opportunity to see the finest softball players in our country competing at the highest level possible… in their living room.

16 years ago, as an awkward 8th grader, I was one of those young girls. I learned every player’s name on the roster, and obsessed over each and every pitcher. I dreamt of wearing that jersey one day.

I want my students to dream big and become empowered through softball. I want them to have the opportunity to see the best softball players in the country and in the world compete. I want softball back in the Olympics.

If you want to see softball back in the Olympics, sign this petition!