This year’s Softball Factory Mid-America Championship was another success, as the players and the coaches brought it together to make this event and this process another great player development and tournament atmosphere.
On Wednesday night, the athletes and parents checked in along with a welcome meeting on what to expect for the week and upcoming weekend. All of the parents were very excited to see what was presented and how much their daughter was going to gain from this experience.
Thursday morning started early at the Dawson High School softball field, where Coach Katelyn Griffin currently coaches the high school program, and trained the athletes for the duration of the day. The players worked on defensive positioning and skill work, but the coaches mainly focused on team aspects.
The athletes had never played with each other, nor had they been coached at this setting by the Softball Factory staff, so the need to make sure everyone involved was on the same page with bunt defense, 1st & 3rd plays and relays, among others, was crucial. The athletes understood all the plays rather quickly and polished up throughout the day.
After dinner, teams got the opportunity to play two, five-inning games with the Aces Express travel team from the Houston area. The Aces Express is a high level team with great coaching.
We played well and up to the same level of play as the Aces Express. Coaches were certainly proud of what the athletes brought to the table, but also saw many things that needed to be addressed and worked on before going into tournament play.
Friday was yet another training day for the players to continue polishing up mistakes from the night before, but also reiterate all defensive and offensive strategies. The first game at 7:15 p.m. was against the Alley Cats from Alexandria, Louisiana. The first game was a big learning experience and an eye-opener for our girls.
Despite some hardships early on, the girls slowly gelled together and began to play well as a team. It was the goal of the coaching staff to make sure by the end of the weekend they were fully aware how to do this and do it consistently.
On Saturday, the team had a full day of game play. Playing their first game at 10:15 a.m. against the Aces Express, the beginning of the game went well and the girls seemed to get the concept of really bringing to the table what they needed to be successful. The next step was making sure the girls understood that it had to be consistent and last throughout every second of every inning.
The coaches held every athlete accountable and to very high standards, which is something Softball Factory aims to do at all Player Development events. The coaches preached to the players that not one second or one rep was acceptable to not be fully invested into the game and what they needed to do for their team.
The next game and the game on Sunday morning was night and day. The light bulb finally came on, and it was truly amazing to see the success of how far they had come. It was peaceful to see the success they were bringing on the field and also the confidence it was giving them to play the game with high expectation of themselves. The players demanded these things from themselves and from their teammates. They promptly won their next two games.
Wrapping up with the athletes, coaches explained to them that it was up to them now to continue this journey of excellence and demand it every day and every second from themselves. It is up to them to hold themselves accountable every day and make sure they surround themselves with people and coaches that focus on their development as an athlete. Softball Factory coaches were quite proud of the girls and what they did throughout the week to make this event what it was.
Paige Dorsett: 5’9” 2020 SS R/R–She played SS, 3B, 2B and outfield. Two doubles, one triple, one HR, and five RBI.
Alyssa “Buggie” Stanley: 5’5” 2019 LHP/1B–She pitched 10 solid innings with seven strikeouts and several long line drives to the outfield.
Makena Mulcahy: 5’5” 2019 2B/OF R/L–The definition of a “gamer.” One of the most consistent hitters at the event. 6-10 in the five games we played.
Lauren Lester: 5’6” 2020 C R/R–Handled the pitchers great, has good pop in her bat, is a hard worker and is very coachable.