Category Archives: Success Stories

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!


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.



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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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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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!

Haley is on Fire!

Haley Santacruz

Haley Santacruz

Haley had a great outing in her first tournament of Spring. She won 2 out of 3 games against three of Northern California’s top ten teams. In one of those games, she had 12 strikeouts!

Keep up the hard work Haley! I’m proud of you!!!

Way to go Tianna!!!!

Way to go Tianna!

Tianna Jacques had a great weekend on the mound, recording 2 wins, one of which was a shutout! Keep up the hard work!

Tianna Johnson

Tianna Jacques