2010 February 2010 The Inside Pitch


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2010 February 2010 The Inside Pitch

  1. 1. February 2010 The Inside Pitch Official Newsletter of the Amateur Softball Association of America A note from Amateur Softball Association President Andy Dooley Kim Townsend of the Georgia ASA, seen I hope that all here with ASA who attended the Director of Junior Olympic (JO) Membership Workshop found the Services Craig Cress, is one sessions informative of the Junior and helpful. Thank Olympic (JO) you to the National Commissioners who was Office staff for putting honored in together the valuable workshop that Oklahoma City everyone could learn from. for her service to ASA. She has I would like to welcome all of the been involved in new JO Commissioners who were the JO program for 15 years. attending the JO Workshop for the first time. And thanks to all of the Commissioners and other Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) leaders and members who also JuNIOR OLyMPIC WORKSHOP attended. Next month I am sure some of you ASA leaders, members travel to Oklahoma City will begin the season. I just want to remind you to get your teams registered More than 120 Junior people that I have talked or e-mailed. and make sure that your umpires are Olympic commissioners and other I was very impressed with how registered also. representatives from local Amateur dedicated you all are to the ASA and Softball Associations (ASA) across the JO program. It makes it worthwhile for I know the new RegisterASA.com country came to Oklahoma City Feb. volunteers like ourselves to work for program has its issues. But I want to 5-6 for the 2010 Junior Olympic (JO) the improvement and growth of the thank John Miller and his staff, including Workshop sponsored by Bollinger and JO program. Thank you for making Lori Coleman and Nancy Teehee, for Markel Insurance. Members of the 76 our stay so memorable.” meeting with the associations that have local ASA associations took part in a The workshop kicked off Friday requested extra attention and time. If series of instructional and information with a welcome from ASA Executive your association needs help regarding sessions on youth softball hosted by Director Ron Radigonda and ASA Register ASA, please contact John the ASA National Office. President Andy Dooley, who is also (jmiller@softball.org) at the National “Merton, Bernice and I returned the commissioner of Piedmont (Va.) Office. to Hawaii today sad to have left ‘the ASA. The program continued with wonderful weather’ of OKC,” Hawaii sessions that included presentations Please also make sure your local ASA’s Lloyd Okubo wrote in an e-mail from Bollinger Insurance and Major association has all of the ASA National Tuesday. “It was a very productive League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit & Run Championships its hosting posted and educational workshop. It was nice (PHR), which recently partnered with online. Teams are looking for this to finally put faces with the names of information already so please make sure you have a Web site that gives them the ‘JO WORKSHOP’ CONTINuED ON PAgE 6 information needed. From April 23-25, the Board of Directors will be meeting. If you have IN THIS ISSuE Page 5 Page 6 Page 9 Page 14 something you would like discussed by Registration is now Delaware ASA Hall of Heritage Park in Sign-up to host a the Board, please contact your territorial open for the spring Fame welcomes the St. Joseph, Mo., is local competition vice president. They can request that 2010 Responsible three member Class named the 2009 ASA for Major League your concern be placed on the agenda. Sports Community of 2010 including Complex of the Year Baseball’s Pinch, Hit & Grant period former Commissioner Run (PHR) I want to thank each of you for what Barbara Thornton you do for ASA each and every day. Have a good February.
  2. 2. ASA promotional packets on sale for $7 A note from The Inside Pitch editor The Amateur Softball to receive them, if possible. Last call for free copies Jamie Blanchard Association of America (ASA) Include the date of your advertising and promotional event in the e-mail to ensure of the 2009 scorebooks Welcome to the February 2010 edition packets are still on sale for they are shipped in time. Thousands of last year’s $7 each, which includes scorebooks have already of The Inside Pitch, the official newsletter a DVD and the cost of All 2010 registration been donated to the Special of the Amateur Softball Association of shipping. Commissioners Olympics but a very limited and Junior Olympic (JO) materials mailed supply still remains. If your America (ASA). Thank you for reading. Commissioners can place All registration materials association would like A lot of exciting things are happening orders for their association by (forms, rulebooks, scorebooks for contests, at the National Office in Oklahoma City e-mailing Jamie Blanchard, scorebooks, umpire tests, giveaways, etc., please Coordinator of Marketing etc.) have been mailed to all e-mail Jamie Blanchard over the next few months. On March 6, and Communications, at local associations. If you have (jblanchard@softball. the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium opens up jblanchard@softball.org. problems, or need additional org) as soon as possible. registration materials, please for the season with The Preview College If ordering the packages Scorebooks are in boxes of to distribute at a specific contact Debbie Ford (dford@ 50 only. tournament. We are also preparing to event, please order at least softball.org) at the National announce our marquee event for the two weeks before you need Office. summer so be sure to stay tuned. Recently, the National Office hosted the Junior Olympic (JO) Commissioners for the two-day JO Workshop. A lot of information was given out on everything from the Achieve, Certify, Educate (ACE) Coaching Certification program to our new Register ASA system. Hopefully most concerns were addressed during those presentations. Julie Bartel, Holly Krivokapich and I also hope that our JOs took away one thing about the Marketing and Communications staff: We are always here to help. Please let us know what you need to spread ASA in your area. If you need promotional materials, contact us. If you need logos or photos, contact us. We have a lot of resources that we would love to share with the local ASAs. And remember, if you would like to PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIEFINCH.COM have a news item or photo included in The Andrea Duran, Jennie Finch and Leah O’Brien-Amico were among the instructors of the Jennie Finch Softball Academy clinic in Flemington, N.J. Duran and Finch are two of the 17 women Inside Pitch, send it to me electronically offered a spot on the 2010 USA Softball Women’s National Team last month. In November, during the first week of the month at O’Brien-Amico was inducted to the National Softball Hall of Fame. jblanchard@softball.org. Any items, including photos, not submitted by the deadline may not be included. Please plan The Inside Pitch ahead to allow yourself enough time to submit items about your association. Official newsletter of the Amateur Softball Association If you have anything that you would like 2801 Northeast 50th Street • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111 to submit for our March 2010 issue of the Phone (405) 424-5266 • Fax (405) 425-3855 Web site www.asasoftball.com electronic Balls and Strikes Magazine, Holly is now taking story ideas. Please send her Editor Jamie Blanchard • E-mail jblanchard@softball.org an e-mail at hollyk@softball.org. Assistant Editors Julie Bartel and Holly Krivokapich Talk to you next month! Page 2 THE INSIDE PITCH February 2010
  3. 3. News & Notes from the National Office The Preview scheduled for March 6 in OKC Another year of action kicks off at the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) ASA/USA Softball’s Facebook Hall of Fame Complex on March 6 in tops 10K, eyes 11K Oklahoma City, Okla., with The Preview The ASA/USA Softball Facebook college tournament featuring a Bedlam page (www.facebook.com/ match-up at 3 p.m. The four-game asausasoftball) topped 10,000 fans tournament also includes Nevada vs. last month. The new goal is to have Louisville at 10 a.m., Oklahoma State vs. 15,000 fans by the announcement of Nevada at 12:30 p.m. and Oklahoma vs. the finalists for the 2010 USA Softball Louisville at 5:30 p.m. Collegiate Player of the Year. “We’re excited to be a part of such Facebook has proven as a very a great event,” Oklahoma Head Coach successful way to communicate with Patty Gasso said. “The competition will fans across the United States and be tough with teams like Oklahoma the world, with hundreds of people State, Louisville and Nevada, but it will commenting and asking questions on be exciting for our student-athletes the page every week. It has also been and fans to experience the Bedlam a great way to gauge the opinions of atmosphere in a special venue like ASA athletes, coaches and umpires. Hall of Fame Stadium.” On Twitter (www.twitter.com/ The Preview will mark the first time asausasoftball), more than 4,200 pitcher Kelani Ricketts, an OU freshman, are following ASA/USA Softball. With has played at the Stadium since leading KELANI RICKETTS Twitter, ASA is able to deliver short her team to the 2009 18-Under GOLD stadium schedule include: the ASA messages like scoring updates when National Championship. Combat Capital City Classic, April 9-11; major events are held at the ASA Hall General admission all-day tickets Region 2 Junior College Championship, of Fame Complex. are on sale now through the ASA for May 7-9; Sooner Athletic Conference Several ASA associations have $15. To purchase tickets, call 1-800-654- Championship, May 7-8; the Big 12 taken to social media - including 8337 or visit www.SoftballOutlet.com. Championship May 14-16; NCAA Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tickets will also be on sale at the ASA Women’s College World Series, June 3-9; Nor Cal, Oregon and Sacramento. If Hall of Fame Stadium on March 6. ASA Men’s Class A and Women’s Open your association is using social media, The Preview is just the start of an National Championship Sept. 30-Oct. 3; send an e-mail to Jamie Blanchard exciting line-up of events at the ASA and the Hooters Championship Series (jblanchard@softball.org) so your ASA Hall of Fame Stadium featuring all levels Sept. 30-Oct. 3. and the National Office can connect. of the sport, including high school fast pitch and slow pitch and ASA 12-Under, Applications being reviewed Next issue of Balls and Strikes 14-Under, 16-Under, 18-Under and for two positions hitting the net in March GOLD. The USA Softball 2010 Women’s The ASA National Office is currently The first 2010 issue of Balls and National Team may also return to the reviewing applicants for the Register Strikes online magazine comes out next stadium July 22-26 for the 5th World ASA/Events Coordinator position in month. If you have a story idea for the Cup of Softball, although an official Oklahoma City. Applicants are also March magazine, please contact Holly announcement has not been made. being reviewed for the Indiana ASA Krivokapich (hollyk@softball.org) as Other highlights of the 2010 Commissioner position. soon as possible. February 2010 THE INSIDE PITCH Page 3
  4. 4. Every day, millions of lives are shaped with a softball and a little open space. There’s an insurance company that understands the value of those lessons. Far from the stadium lights and the roar of the crowd come the Responsible Sports moments when youth sports matters. These opportunities help form eNewsletter. bonds that enrich the game and enhance the lives and life skills of Sign up today at young players. That’s why Liberty Mutual and our partners are proud ResponsibleSports.com/Softball to bring you the Responsible Sports™ program – offering educational resources, training tips and teaching tools for youth sports parents and coaches, plus coaching awards and valuable community grants. Memorable youth sports moments are waiting for you. Visit ResponsibleSports.com/Softball today. Liberty Mutual Official Sponsor of © 2009 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
  5. 5. Registration is now open for the spring 2010 Responsible Sports Commuty Grant period The Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Community Grants are almost here! Registration is now open for the spring 2010 Responsible Sports Community Grant period. To get started go to ResponsibleSports. com/grant to search to see if your organization is registered. Register now, spread the word, and get everyone involved for the opening of the grant period from March to May 31st. Use the money for things like new equipment, upgrade field conditions, start a scholarship fund, or whatever, you decide. What would you do with $2,500? Get started at ResponsibleSports.com/grant today! February 2009 THE INSIDE PITCH Page 5
  6. 6. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Nevada ASA for10 years; Dave Forte of Workshop this past weekend, it is greatly Central California ASA for10 years; Glen appreciated,” Detroit ASA Commissior Stu JO WORKSHOP Gotcher of Fort Worth ASA for 10 years; Cliff LaRose of Connecticut ASA for 10 Alderman wrote. “Kudos also goes out to the entire ASA staff for all the hard work years; Sarah McMahon of Kansas ASA put into this event as well as all other for 10 years; Rick Hansen of Washington ASA events to make ASA the best that it the ASA to activate the National girls’ ASA for 15 years; Carol Pipgras of South can be for the softball community.” softball division of the PHR competition. Dakota ASA for 15 years; Kim Townsend The JO Workshop is held on a biennial Other Friday activities included a of Georgia ASA for 15 years; and Don basis and first began in the 1990s. It will session on the new Register ASA Smiley of Greater San Joaquin ASA for 20 happen again in 2012. system for administrators, coaches and years. “We’ve had a lot of positive changes tournament directors, a session on the Saturday was another full-day starting made within our organization over Achieve, Certify, Educate (ACE) Coaching with a presentation on tournament the past several months including the Certification program, a tour of the newly bracketing for JO events and recognition implementation of our new Register ASA renovated National Softball Hall of Fame of the 2009 ASA Complex of the Year system,” Radigonda said. “The workshop and Museum and the ASA Hall of Fame presented by Stabilizer Solutions Ballyard is a great opportunity for our National Stadium, which recently reopended to Products winner Heritage Park Softball Office staff to make our local leadership the public, and the reception for the JO Complex in St. Joseph, Mo. Saturday’s aware of the changes so they can service awards. agenda included regional breakouts and activate them in their area. Our members Receiving awards were Joe Pavone open discussion as well. across the country will really benefit of Chicago ASA for 5 years of service in “Thank you once again for allowing from the time and work being put in this the JO program; Sally Commerford of me the opportunity to attend the JO Friday and Saturday.” Ed Lindsey to Delaware ASA Hall of Fame serve on new welcomes the Class of 2010 sports group The Delaware ASA several ASA National years, before stepping Hall of Fame inducted Umpire Schools on the down this past fall. The Buffalo Niagara three members on Jan. Eastern Seaboard. She was a key member Convention and Visitors 30 in Wilmington, De. Lane, a former fast- of the three-time Class Bureau has created a not- The inductees were Bob pitch player, started “A” National Champion for-profit subsidiary aimed Hudson, Jean Lane and playing outfield with the Coastal Cardinals. She also Barbara Thornton. Maida Pharmacy travel coached the team to 14 at attracting amateur Hudson began team that was established national appearances. athletic events to the umpiring in 1982. He in the 1950s and early Thornton, who area, local government was inducted into the 60s. Among her list of coached at the University and tourism officials: ASA National Indicator softball accomplishments of Delaware and at Fraternity in Oklahoma includes an ASA National Ursuline Academy, helped Buffalo Niagara Sports City, Okla., in 1999 Championship with the found and coach the Commission. and in the same year, Delaware Air National Delaware Magic travel Buffalo ASA’s Ed was honored by the Guard team. fast-pitch team. From the Lindsey, who is a former International Softball She was the charter 1994 Magic, 10 went on to Federation. member of Delaware’s play NCAA D-I, D-II or D-III ASA Eastern Territoral Since 1993, he has first senior women’s team. softball. Vice President, will serve umpired in Men’s Major Lane competed at the In 2004, Thornton on the 36-member Slow Pitch National 1997 National Senior received the prestigious Buffalo Niagara Sports Championships and has Olympics in Tucson, Ariz., “Pioneer Award” from umpired in Women’s Slow and has continued to the Delaware Women’s Commission. The Pitch Nationals since 2001. compete in senior softball Sports Association for group will also have Hudson has served since. providing female athletes representation from the as Delaware’s Umpire- Thornton served an opportunity to grow Bills, Sabres, Bisons, and in-Chief. He has also as the Delaware ASA and prosper into young organized and instructed Commissioner for 12 women. many area colleges and universities. Page 6 THE INSIDE PITCH February 2010
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  8. 8. ASA’s Official Team Insurance Plan for the 47th year! Bollinger provides Team Insurance Plans for ASA’s JO and Adult Teams. These coverages stand ready to defend and protect you in the event of injuries or lawsuits arising out of your softball activities. ASA Team Accident Insurance Plan provides a $250,000 Excess Medical Expense benefit for injuries to your players. Various deductible options offer you additional savings. The ASA Team Liability Insurance Plan provides your team with $5,000,000 in protection for bodily injury or property damage claims arising out of your team’s games, practices or fundraising activities. Note: Many ASA Associations are requiring Individual Registration for their Junior Olympic teams. One benefit of Individual Registration is that Liability and Accident Insurance are automatically provided as part of the ASA membership fee. If your local ASA Commissioner is using Individual Registration, you do not need to purchase the ASA Team Insurance Plan. Contact your ASA Commissioner or Bollinger for more information. Leading the way with ASA Individual Registration: Best Practices for Teams and Leagues Why Individual Registration? As the National Governing Body for Softball, ASA/USA Softball is committed to the goal of providing accident and liability insurance to all participants in the Junior Olympic (youth) program. This is especially important as more and more American families do not have their own medical insurance. To ensure that our JO players receive the insurance protection they need, ASA/USA Softball has been converting to Individual Registration (as opposed to team registration) for the JO Program. Individual Registration is also available to Adult leagues in certain areas. How is the insurance plan for Individual Registration different from Team Insurance? There is no difference in the limits of coverage under the Individual Registration or Team Insurance plans. The program is still administered by Bollinger and underwritten by Markel Insurance Company. How to get started? Contact your local ASA Commissioner or JO Commissioner for details on how to Individually Register. To find the contact information for your Commissioner, go to the ASA/USA Softball web site at www.ASASoftball.com. For answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Individual Registration, please visit Bollinger’s ASA web site, www.BollingerASA.com and click on “Individual Registration.” Important Note: In order to participate in ASA Junior Olympic/Youth Championship Play, all teams must be ASA Individually Registered or purchase through Bollinger the ASA Team Insurance Package Plan. 101 JFK Parkway, PO Box 390, Short Hills, NJ 07078 1-800-526-1379 www.BollingerASA.com
  9. 9. Heritage Park is 2009 ASA Complex of the year The Amateur Softball Association of since its opening in 2003, America (ASA) announced recently that is to try to make it better the Heritage Park Softball Complex in St. each day, each month Joseph, Mo., has been selected as the 2009 and especially each year,” ASA Complex of the Year presented by Halloran said. “The staff Stabilizer Solutions Ballyard Products. In prides itself on keeping addition to receiving the award, the Heritage the facility, especially the Park Softball Complex will also receive playing fields in great shape approximately $2,000 in field maintenance on a daily basis. Along with products from Stabilizer Solutions. the manicured grounds, “Congratulations to Heritage Park for treating each and every receiving the 2009 ASA Complex of the Year visitor to the complex with Award,” said Stabilizer Solutions President the utmost in kindness, Jon Hubbs. “Stabilizer Solutions is proud to courtesy and respect is of partner with the ASA on this award for the the utmost importance to fourth consecutive year. It is an honor to be each and every staff person able to recognize one of the top ASA softball and volunteer.” HERITAgE PARK SOFTBALL COMPLEx facilities in the nation and encourage others The facility also has a 42 by to strive for this award.” person associated with Heritage Park, from 54 foot playground area that Previous award winners are the Twin the maintenance, concession, administration is covered with a shade structure to prevent Creeks Softball Complex in Woodstock, Ga., and volunteer staffs will cherish this award.” injury from foul balls. Three sides of the in 2008, and Freedom Ridge Park Complex Heritage Park, operated by the City playground are fenced while the fourth side in Ridgeland, Miss., in 2007. The Field of of St. Joseph Parks, Recreation and Civic has benches with shade for parents. Heritage Dreams Complex in Las Cruces, N.M., won the Facilities Department, opened in spring Park also has two areas between fields, one a inaugural 2006 award. 2003, following two years of construction deck area and another a flat brick patio, that from October 2001 to March 2003. The 25- are covered with umbrellas, often providing a “This prestigious award from the ASA acre facility has five playing fields overseen comfortable place to eat the affordable food and Stabilizer Solutions validates the efforts full-time by Brian Jackson, the athletic field and drink from the concession stand. of the staff which operates the Heritage supervisor. The fields are used year round for In 2010, Heritage Park will host the ASA Park Softball Complex,” St. Joseph’s Senior softball tournaments, most recently including Girls’ B 18-Under Fast Pitch Northern National Recreation Supervisor Mike Halloran said. the 2009 ASA Girls’ A 14-Under Fast Pitch Championships along with a variety of other “This park which has hosted numerous state, Northern National Championships, and even ASA approved events. regional and national championship events a one-day community fitness and kickball For more information on Stabilizer will use this designation to attract and retain day. Solutions, visit their Web site at quality championship events. Each and every “One of the original goals of Heritage Park stabilizersolutions.com. Now live: Responsible Sports’ new season evaluation tool The Responsible Sports Season improvement in the experience Evaluation Tool™ is now live! An they provide to your child, and Are you the league easy-to-use, online survey tool others, for years to come. administrator? designed to help leagues and Want to learn more about teams measure season-over-season the Season Evaluation Tool? Sign up today! improvement and allow you, the Visit ResponsibleSports.com for Choose your sport season, and parents, to give valuable feedback survey best practices, pre-season, you’re all set! We’ll walk you to your league. Get started today! mid-season, and post-season through the step-by-step process The Responsible Sports Season steps, and how you can tell your introducing these evaluations to Evaluations will create a space administrator to sign up! your league, building and sending for you to voice opinions in an Tell your administrator the survey, delivering results to anonymous and confidential to use the tool this winter you, and help you develop your way. The feedback that you give at ResponsibleSports.com/ action plan, plus it’s free! will help your league measure its Softball. >> February 2010 THE INSIDE PITCH Page 9
  10. 10. Metro Detroit ASA Hosts National Umpire School APRIL 10-11, 2010 OXFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL 1420 East Lakeville Road Oxford Township, Michigan 48371 Metro Detroit REGISTRATION $80 (Make check payable to MDASA) Name____________________________________________________________________ Address_____________________________________ City ________________________ State ____________Zip _______________ Phone ________________________________ Email _____________________________________________ Shirt Size _____________ Circle Area of Interest: Fast Pitch Slow Pitch Both HOTEL RESERVATIONS Best Western Palace Inn, 2755 S. Lapeer Road, Lake Orion, MI 48360, (248) 391-2755 $79/night if you mention you are with the Metro Detroit ASA Umpire School Room reservations must be made by March 9, 2010 to receive this rate TENTATIVE SCHEDULE Friday, April 9, 2010 – Best Western Palace Inn 6:00 – 10:00 pm Check In/Hospitality Saturday, April 10, 2010 – Oxford Middle School 8:00 – 9:00 am Check In and School Photo 9:00 – Noon Instructional Sessions Noon -1:00 pm Lunch 1:00 - 4:00 pm Instructional Sessions Best Western Palace Inn 6:00 – 7:00 pm Optional Buffet Dinner 8:00 – 11:00 pm Hospitality Sunday, April 11, 2010 – Oxford Middle School, 8:00 am – Noon Instructional Sessions Noon -1:00 pm Lunch 1:00 – 3:00 pm Instructional Sessions 3:00 – 3:30 pm Closing Ceremony 2010 - 2011 National Tournaments scheduled in Michigan: Northern Territory Girls 18-Under A Novi, MI August 2010 Northern Territory Girls 14-Under B Novi, MI August 2011 Northern Territory Girls 16-Under A Mt. Pleasant, MI August 2011 National tournament umpires must attend a National Umpire School. UMPIRE UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT WILL BE SOLD AT THE SCHOOL Mail this Application and a check to: For information contact: MDASA NUS Bob Lawson, MDASA UIC 30740 Lincoln Court 248.437.4356 New Hudson, MI 48165 mdasabob@aol.com
  11. 11. Craigslist classified ads yield 300 umpire candidates Massachusetts ASA is using a new tool to 100 responses to my posting within the first Alfonse has not seen that as an issue with getting recruit umpires: Classified job postings on the 90 minutes and almost 300 total candidates the word out to potential umpires, however. Web site craigslist. interested in just two weeks.” “For a directed use tool though, it’s awesome,” Commissioner Joe Alfonse first used At a cost of $25 for each ad, Mass ASA has Alfonse said. “Metro Boston ASA, last season, craigslist last year when he was head of the spent $75 to place the ads in three different spent $3,000 on print media looking for umpires Metro Boston ASA. “I received over 100 responses categories including general labor and education throughout 70 cities and towns. We received within four hours of the posting and a total (Alfonse has varied the third option). “I get the three responses with no new umpires registered. of almost 300 over the period of one month,” posting out to what I consider the optimal job We spent $75 on Craigslist and registered 80 new he said. “We trained and certified almost 80 market,” Alfonse said. umpires just through that tool. This year for the of those 300 responses. I thought that was a He warns that surfing through craigslist can now combined Mass ASA, I’m not going to waste ridiculously phenomenal rate considering the result in unwarranted content, as certain areas any money on print media. I realize it’s a risk but economy hadn’t tanked yet. This year, I had over of the site do contain inappropriate material. the rewards are just too high with craigslist.” College Corner Washington begins 2010 season as No. 1 After finishing the 2009 season with National Collegiate Player of the a 51-12 record and a NCAA National Year Award. This award, which is Championship title, the University of considered the most prestigious Washington begins the 2010 softball honors in Division I women’s season with a No. 1 ranking in the collegiate softball, is designed ESPN.com/USA Softball Pre-Season to recognize outstanding Collegiate Top 25 Poll announced today athletic achievement by female by the Amateur Softball Association collegiate softball players (ASA). ASA/USA Softball is in its eighth across the country. Past winners season of releasing the ESPN.com/USA of this award include UCLA’s Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll along Stacey Nuveman, Florida State’s with weekly Players of the Week and Jessica Van der Linden, three- ultimately the USA Softball Collegiate time winner Texas pitcher Cat Player of the Year Award. Osterman, Tennessee’s Monica The complete pre-season poll is Abbott, Virginia Tech’s Angela posted at www.usasoftball.com. Tincher and 2009 winner Led by 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Washington pitcher/hitter Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie, Lawrie. Washington, with 17 first-place DANIELLE LAWRIE The 2010 Pre-Season votes, posted a 5-1 record at the Watch List is comprised of 50 2009 Women’s College World Series, first-place vote with one and is the only players representing 35 schools defeating Florida 3-2 in the second team along with No. 10 Oklahoma in and 14different NCAA Division I game of the Championship Series after the top ten that did not make a 2009 Conferences. The list includes 27 defeating the Gators 8-0 in the first WCWS appearance. The Sooners made seniors, 17 juniors and six sophomores. game. Florida dropped to a pre-season the biggest leap in the poll, finishing The complete list of the Top 50 fifth-ranking after finished up the year last year at No. 17. athletes is posted at www.usasoftball. with a 63-5 record, the only team in After receiving votes in the final com. 2009 to post single digits in the loss 2009 poll, No. 23 ULL and No. 24 The ASA will announce the 25 column. Fresno State cracked the Top 25 while finalists on April 7. A player does not Alabama, with one first-place vote, Jacksonville State and North Dakota have to appear on this initial watch list starts out the 2010 campaign with a State dropped out, but both are still to be considered as a top 25 finalist. second-place ranking, after finishing receiving votes. However, once the top 25 finalists are last season with a 54-11 record. No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Arizona, with one Lawrie headlines Top 50 named the winner of the award will come from that list. first-place vote, round out the Top 5 in Watch List for 2010 Freshman can qualify for the top the pre-season poll. ASA has selected its initial “Watch 25 list once they have competed at the No. 6 UCLA is the other holder of a List” for the 9th Annual USA Softball collegiate level. Page 12 THE INSIDE PITCH February 2010
  12. 12. Host a free Aquafina Pitch, Hit & Run competition MLB looking for associations to hold local events in spring 2010 The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are parterning in 2010 for the MLB Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR), which this year will feature a Girls’ National Softball Division for the first time. “ASA is thrilled to be partnering again this year with Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run, especially at the National level,” said ASA Executive Director Ron Radigonda. “We have previously had two really strong trial years in the Girls’ division and are excited MLB has activated the girls’ side to the National level. I strongly encourage all ASA teams, leagues “ASA is thrilled to be partnering again this and local associations to take advantage of this opportunity year with Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run, to showcase our sport at the National level, participate and especially at the National level.” host a local competition. PHR is very important to continue the growth and promotion of our sport.” and the National Finals. The local event is hosted one day in March, April or early Hosting a free PHR competition May with winners advancing to the provides boys and girls, ages 7-14, the sectional in their area. opportunity to showcase their baseball more information required to host the and softball skills. It also provides a great The top scorers are eligible to event. community event in just two to three compete in the Team Championship in hours; minimum of 30 participants per a Major League Stadium in June .The Please take advantage of this great local competition. top scores nationwide, from the Team opportunity by signing up now to host Championships, earn an all-expense a free Local Competition for the boys The official skills competition of paid trip to the MLB All-Star Game and girls in your community this spring Major League Baseball, PHR is intended in Anaheim, Calif. to compete in the (March 1 – early May). to encourage youth participation National Finals competition and emphasize the fun element of Please visit www.mlb.com/phr baseball and softball. All participants PHR is a 1-day event that is easy to for more information and to register must begin by competing in a Local administrate and can often be completed online for your free Local Administrator competition, which can be hosted by any in only a few hours. The competition Kit, which contains materials and organization, league, civic group or set of can be hosted on a baseball/softball information required to host. Space is volunteers in the community. PHR is free diamond or any open field. Registered limited so do not wait. of charge to both the participants and hosts will receive an administrative kit the local hosting organization. with a handbook, promotional posters, For general information, send your registration forms, strike zone banner, name, address, organization and The Four levels of competition are award ribbons, and participation questions to: pitchhitrun@website.mlb. Local, Sectional, Team Championship baseball cards for all participants and com. Page 14 THE INSIDE PITCH February 2010