Author Archives: Matt Lund

Eight Softball Factory Alums Named 2017 Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year

Gatorade has announced the Softball Players of the Year for 2016-17, based on the state each player lives in and this year, eight Softball Factory alums were part of the honor.

Avery Wheatley

Delaware – Avery Wheatley: Avery is a shortstop from Delmar, Delaware and just wrapped up her senior season at Delmar High School. She helped lead the Wildcats to the state championship game at the time she was selected. Wheatley hit .662 with 19 RBI and 40 runs scored and was a First Team All-State selection. Softball Factory first saw Wheatley at a College PREP event in Savannah, GA in November 2014 and a month later, attended Softball Factory’s Christmas Camp & Tournament. In 2015, she participated in the Under Armour Softball Factory Fall Classic. Wheatley has committed to play at the next level with Appalachian State University.

Jocelyn Alo

Hawaii – Jocelyn Alo: Alo has now been named Hawaii’s Gatorade State Player of the Year in back-to-back years. She is a senior catcher at Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, HI and helped lead the Lady Sabers to a Division I state title this season, hitting .571 with 12 home runs and 27 RBI. Defensively, she threw out nearly 40% of baserunners attempting to steal. Alo attended an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Hemet, CA in November, 2016. She has committed to play at the next level with the University of Oklahoma.

Maryland – Kaitlin Beasley-Polko: The Leonardtown, MD native is a senior right-handed pitcher at Leonardtown High School and had an incredible season for the record books. Beasley-Polko dominated in her senior season, going 21-2 with an 0.36 ERA, striking out 331 in 157 innings pitched. Her dominance lasted all season as she threw six no-hitters, including one perfect game, and 15 shutouts. Kaitlin attended the 2016 Under Armour Softball Factory Eastern Classic as an 18U Participant and has committed to Coastal Carolina.

Meghan Beaubien

Michigan – Meghan Beaubien: Beaubien wrapped up her senior season at St. Mary Catholic Central High School where she helped the Kestrels to an 18-3 record at the time of her selection. Meghan was 15-1 in the circle with an ERA of 0.43 and 244 strikeouts in 115 innings pitched through 21 games. She attended a November 2016 National Tryout in Waterford Township (Detroit), MI. She will be playing at the next level with the University of Michigan.

Lauren Burke

Oregon – Lauren Burke: Lauren is a senior shortstop at Marist Catholic High School. Burke is the returning Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year in Oregon and helped the Spartans to a 25-3 record at the time of her selection. Putting together a solid senior season, Burke hit .629 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs, four triples, 62 runs scored and 42 RBI through 28 games. She attended a National Tryout in Hemet, California in 2016 and will play at the next level with the University of Oregon.

South Carolina – Bailey Betenbaugh: Bailey is the only underclass selection of the eight, a huge feat for the sophomore right-handed pitcher and infielder from Union County High School in Union, South Carolina, helping to lead the Yellow Jackets (26-6) to the Class 4A state championship this past season. On the mound, Bailey was 16-4 with a 1.38 ERA and hit .504 with nine homers this season. Softball Factory saw the talented Betenbaugh at an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Columbia, South Carolina back in 2015.

Casey Dixon with her Easton Glove at 2017 Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament

Texas – Casey Dixon: The senior right-handed pitcher from Willis High School in Willis, TX helped lead the Wildkats to a 39-7 record at the time of her selection with an incredible 34-7 mark in the circle with a 1.07 earned run average and an astounding 415 strikeouts in 236 innings this season. The University of Louisiana-Lafayette commit was even better during their playoff run, tossing two complete games on a single day in each of Willis’ final three rounds of the Class 5A Region 3 Tournament, as her wins were the deciders in each series.

Dixon attended the 2017 Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament in January and shined, winning an Easton Gloveman Award for her performance.

Virginia – Kathryn Sandercock: Kathryn is a junior right-handed pitcher from Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA. She helped lead the Knights to a perfect 27-0, winning both the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I state titles this past season. Sandercock was 26-0 with a 0.09 ERA – yes, an 0.09 ERA – and 330 strikeouts in 151 innings pitched, allowing just 35 hits and 19 walks. Softball Factory staff saw the talented Sandercock at the 2016 Under Armour Softball Factory Eastern Classic where soon after, she was selected as a standout to train for the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team in Oklahoma City, OK this summer. Sandercock has committed to play at James Madison University.

Softball Factory Alumni On Team Rosters Entering The 2017 NCAA Division I Championship

The field for the 2017 NCAA Division I Championship was set earlier this week and games are underway as we’re sure to see some exciting match-ups and storyline intrigue over the coming weeks as the University of Oklahoma looks to defend their 2016 Championship.

The pairings were announced and the Southeastern Conference set a new record as all 13 teams were selected to the tournament, the most in conference history. According to the NCAA website, the Pac-12 had eight teams selected to the tourney and three schools will make their first ever appearance: East Tennessee State University, University of Montana and Saint Francis University (PA).

For the third straight year, the University of Florida holds the overall No. 1 seed in the Championship Tournament and will host Florida A&M in their first matchup.

This year, 45 of the 64 teams entered into the 2017 NCAA Division I Softball Championship tournament have at least one Softball Factory alumnae on a roster. In total, 78 players who have participated in at least one Softball Factory event are on the rosters of teams looking for the opportunity to be called champion. East Tennessee State and Fairfield lead the way, with both teams having four alums on their rosters.

Below is a list of our alums who are on rosters of teams selected for this year’s tournament.

University of Florida:  Kelly Barnhill, Amanda Lorenz, Nicole DeWitt

Florida A&M: Tahlia Snider, Jamesia Stoudemire

University of Arizona: Taylor McQuillin, Alyssa Palomino, Michelle Floyd

University of Oregon: Mia Camuso, Cherish Burks

Florida State: Elizabeth Mason

UCLA: Rachel Garcia, Bubba Nickles

University of Washington: Morganne Flores

Auburn University: Alexa Nemeth

University of Tennessee: Kassidy Gallo, Meghan Gregg

Texas A&M: Keeli Milligan

University of Oklahoma: Falepolima Aviu, Lea Wodach

University of Utah: Kelly Martinez, Maddie Roth

OLE MISS: Bryanna Castro

Baylor: Gia Rodoni

University of Minnesota: Allie Arneson, Carlie Brandt

University of Michigan: Katie Alexander

James Madison University: Cambry Arnold

Marshall: Elizabeth Deshields

BYU: Briielle Breland, Libby Sugg

Jacksonville State: Kirsten Titus, Ryann Luna

Louisiana-Lafayette: Alyssa Denham

Tulas: Brittany Walker

University of South Carolina-Upstate: Kristen Wright, Karla Beasley

Missouri: Lexi Rampetsreiter, Taylor Kirby

Oklahoma State: Logan Simunek

University of Illinois: Danielle Brochu, Ruby Rivera

DePaul: Morgan Greenwood

Mississippi State: Maddie Dorsett

Fresno State: Kamalani Dung

Montana: Sara Stephenson

East Tennessee State University: Nikki Grupp, Rebecca Wahrmund, Kelly Schmidt, Taylor Wright

Notre Dame: Alexis Bazos

Arkansas: Keely Edwards, Aly Manzo

Kent State: Jade WilliamsVanessa Scoarste

Oregon State: Shelby Weeks, Riley Gregoire, Fallon Molnar

South Carolina: Lex Hull

University of Georgia: Madison McPherson

McNeese State: Erika Piancastelli, Brenique WrightAlexandria Saldivar

Fairfield: Danielle Tringali, Angelina McGuire, Hannah Futo, Courtney Hankins

University of North Carolina: Leah Murray

San Jose State: Colette Riggs

Lehigh: Jennifer Stoll

Longwood:  Jessica Smith, Leanna Toler, Kasey Carr

Texas State: Randi Rupp, Sara Rupp

Texas Southern: Jazmyn Foster, Heaven Benavidez, Tyra Williams

 

Softball Factory Standouts Announced To Training Team For 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team

Looking to repeat their Gold Medal-winning performance at the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship (JWWC), USA Softball has announced the selection of 24 athletes to their training team. Softball Factory is proud to announce that four alums are part of the initial roster of players who will attend training camp this June in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The JWNT will compete in the World Cup of Softball XII, held in Oklahoma City, Okla, July 4-9, 2017 and from there, the roster will be trimmed down to 17 players before Team USA looks to defend their Gold Medal in the WBSC JWWC, July 24-30 in Clearwater, Fla. Team USA claimed the last Gold Medal in 2015 at the WBSC JWWC, defeating Japan by a score of 8-1.

It was a record-breaking performance for the team, going undefeated en route to the Gold. According to USASoftball.com, Team USA led the tournament in batting average (.425 team batting average) and runs scored (119) while limiting opponents to just six runs in a 10-0 performance.

Listed below are the Softball Factory standouts who have been selected to continue training in hopes of locking in a spot on the 2017 team.

Natalie Lugo (photo courtesy of USA Softball)

Natalie Lugo – RHP – Covina, CA (South Hills HS)

Lugo dominated her junior season at South Hills High School in Covina, Calif., in 2016, going a perfect 10-0 in league play and not allowing a single earned run. Overall, the right-hander went 18-6 in the circle with a minuscule 0.62 ERA and 279 strikeouts in 159 innings.

Natalie is a signee at the University of Florida. Softball Factory coaches and scouts saw her at an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Hemet, Calif. last November.

Madilyn “Bubba” Nickles (photo courtesy of USA Softball)

Maddy Nickles – RHP/SS – Atwater, CA (Merced HS)

This is the second selection for Nickles as she was part of the 2015 Junior Women’s World Team that won a Gold Medal. Nickles has plenty of experience under her belt from her time with the team as she played in 14 games between the World Cup of Softball X and World Championship, hitting a homer, driving in 14 runs and walking six times.

Nickles enters her freshman season in 2017 at UCLA after a decorated high school career as a four-year starter and pitcher at Merced High School in Merced, Calif. Collectively, Nickles won 67 games, posting an ERA of 1.05 with a staggering 11 no-hitters and 809 strikeouts.

In November 2013, Nickles attended an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Fresno, Calif.

Kathryn Sandercock (photo courtesy of USA Softball)

Kathryn Sandercock – RHP/1B – McLean, VA (O’Connell HS)

Sandercock is a junior at O’Connell High School in McLean, Va and is the only player of the 24 selected from the state of Virginia. Sandercock has given her verbal to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

Kathryn participated in the 2016 Eastern Classic, held last October in Henrico, Va, performing well, posting a top velo of 66 mph with strong command of her pitches and control around the strike zone.

Taylon Snow (photo courtesy of USA Softball)

Taylon Snow – OF – Chino Hills, CA (Chino Hills HS)

Snow, a senior OF at Chino Hills High School, is a three-time All-Inland Valley and Baseline League selection. She is also an Auburn University signee.

In 2016 for the Huskies, Snow hit .438 with nine home runs, 37 RBI and 27 runs in 32 games. Last November, Taylon attended the Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Hemet, Calif.

We congratulate our former and current Softball Factory standouts for their inclusion for the 2017 Junior Women’s National Team!

For more information on the USA Softball JWNT, visit USASoftball.com.

Five Division I Commits Shine At 2017 All-America Pre-Season Tournament

Being named a Softball Factory Pre-Season All-American is truly an honor. Powered by Under Armour, Softball Factory All America Preseason Tournament featured a special guest this year, Olympic Gold Medalist and former Player of the Year Jennie Finch. Softball Factory selected 44 athletes from across the nation to participate in the event. Each athlete showed strong passion and skills for the game.

This year there were five 2017 Pre Season Under Armour All American outstanding player awards listed below:

Casey Dixon

Casey Dixon

RHP Casey Dixon is approaching her final season at Willis High School in Willis, TX. Last season Dixon went 25-2 with a 1.13 ERA striking out 311 batters. She also batted .364 with 38 RBI and was named MVP of her district. The senior has committed to University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

At the tournament, Casey was a recipient of the Easton Gloveman Award and received a brand new Easton glove. She described the experience as unforgettable.

“I had so much fun! It was great to meet so many girls from different states and to play alongside them,” Dixon said. “I was able to learn a couple of new and different things while playing for coaches I had never played for before. Having Jenny Finch there to watch and instruct me was an honor!”

The Dixon family is just as excited to see her play at Louisiana-Lafayette.

“We are so excited and blessed. Most of our family is from Louisiana, so it feels like home. The people in Lafayette are just wonderful and so welcoming. It will be amazing to watch Casey in a Ragin’ Cajun uniform with the best softball fans in the country. I know she has worked really hard to get the opportunity to play Division 1 ball, so it is a wonderful feeling to see that pay off for her.”

Janae Jefferson

Janae Jefferson

OF Janae Jefferson is entering her senior season at Chester W. Nimitz Senior High School in Harris County, TX. Her junior season she finished with a .687 batting average with 21 doubles, 15 triples, 31 RBI and swiping 18 bases. The Texas native will be playing college ball at the University of Texas.

“I thought the event was great,” Jefferson said. “The event was very professionally organized. I got to meet some nice people and play the sport that I love. I really enjoyed it. Softball means the world to me. I fell in love with the game at six years old, I love the competition and team work aspect of the game.”

Ecstatic to play at the University of Texas, her parents share the emotion of the feeling.

“It’s always been her dream to play Division 1 softball. We are so proud and excited for her. The fact that she gets to live out her dream is just awesome. The true icing on the cake is that she gets to play for Coach Clark at The University of Texas. When you think of college and universities in this state, the one that immediately comes to mind is UT. They have a tremendous tradition.”

At the tournament, Janae was also a recipient of the Easton Gloveman Award and received a brand new Easton glove.

Audrey Lyle

Audrey Lyle

1B/C Audrey Lyle is entering her junior season at Westlake High School in Westlake, OH. In her high school career, Audrey is averaging .437 with 45 hits and six doubles. She has already committed to Belmont University and has worked hard at the game since four years old.

“Audrey started softball when she was four years old. She went from tee ball, to coach pitch, to local travel, and eventually to national travel teams. Softball has taught Audrey so much about life and how to work with others. She has been challenged and blessed so much by the game. She has learned to set and achieve goals for herself and her teammates through hard work and dedication.”

Her favorite moment at the tournament, according to her mom, Laura, was the coaches, especially Jennie Finch and Raven Chavanne.

“Audrey was so honored to be chosen as a Pre-Season All-American, and she was so blessed to be coached by Jennie Finch and Raven Chavanne, along with all of the amazing Softball Factory coaches.”

At the tournament, Audrey was also a recipient of the Easton Gloveman Award and received a brand new Easton glove.

Her family continued “She loves being able to play with amazing, talented girls from all over the country at Softball Factory events! She has learned so much about life and softball from the Softball Factory!”

Playing at Belmont University Audrey can’t come any sooner for Audrey.

“Playing at Belmont after graduation will be a dream come true for her. She feels like it is the perfect place that God prepared for her. Her future coaches and teammates are amazing, and she can’t wait to get there!”

Alexandria Lewis

Alexandria Lewis

SS/OF Alexandria Lewis is entering her senior season at Columbia High School in West Columbia, TX. In a total of 73 games, Alexandria has a batting average of .444/.519/.580 with 53 stolen bases in her high school career. She is a Galveston College commit who fell in love with the game at six years old determined to play college ball.

“Alexandria has been playing softball since she was six years old and we are so proud that she has decided to attend Galveston College and continue her education. She has made some sacrifices along the way but she has always been very determined to follow her dream and play softball and dreamed of someday playing at the Division I level and maybe even in the Olympics. Our goal was always for her to go to college so she could make a way for herself, not knowing for her it would becoming so much more.”

At the tournament, Alexandria was also a recipient of the Easton Gloveman Award and received a brand new Easton glove, where she described the tournament as an amazing experience.

Madison Watson

Madison Watson

3B Madison Watson is approaching her senior season at Riverside Academy in Reserve, LA. Last season, Madison averaged a slash line of .348/.442/.573 with 31 hits in 31 games. The Louisiana native looks forward playing college ball at Southeastern Louisiana University. It has been a dream of hers to play in college for a long time, while her parents are just as excited.

“Softball means the world to me,” Madison said. “It’s the one place where everything disappears and I get to be me. It has taught me valuable life lessons such as team work and how to overcome failures even through difficult times. I fell in love with softball when I was eight years old. I have to thank this sport for the endless amount of friendships that will last forever.”

“To us as parents, we are always proud of Madison, whether it’s on the softball field or in the classroom. It doesn’t mean so much to us where Madison is playing, DI or at a Junior college. We are most proud that all of her hard work has paid off. She has spent endless hours at the softball field working to get better. She’s a kid who doesn’t believe in defeat, so we are proud that she gets to live out her life long dream of playing college softball.”

At the Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament, she was a recipient of the Easton Offensive Player Award and received an Easton stealth bat.

“I personally feel like that weekend was one of the most influential events I have ever attended,” Madison said. “There were so many great coaches and role models there to remind me why I fell in love with softball in the first place. I learned a lot from the event that I will continue to use as I play this sport. Let’s not forget that it was also a lot of fun and I was able to interact with some great athletes from around the world.”

Softball Great Jennie Finch To Appear At 2017 Softball Factory Pre-Season All-American Event

SF-012 2017 SF Pre-Season AA Invite-Jennie Finch-600x400

Legendary USA Olympic Gold Medalist Softball pitcher and former collegiate All-American Jennie Finch will appear at the 2017 Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament, held at the Scrapyard Sports Complex in Conroe, TX, January 13-15, 2017.

The nation’s premier event features top, handpicked talent from across the country by Softball Factory’s scouting staff based on a strong performance at a previous Under Armour Softball Factory event or recommendation by a coach. Players have the opportunity to be selected to this prestigious event by attending a future Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout & College PREP event in the area of their choice.

Jennie is a great role model for young female athletes everywhere,” said Lea Ann Jarvis, Senior Director for Softball Factory. “She was that “give me the ball” type of pitcher that all coaches want in a player. Jennie’s career as a athlete is over but she continues to give back to the sport that gave to her in the right ways by teaching, coaching and being a great ambassador for the great game of softball.”

The University of Arizona alumnae who helped lead Team USA to the Gold Medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, also won a Silver Medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Her #27 jersey was retired by her alma mater, the University of Arizona in 2003 and she finished her collegiate career as the program’s career leader in strikeouts, shutouts, innings pitched and tied for no-hitters (8).

We are very excited to bring our Pre-Season All-Americans one of the best instructors and role models to ever grace the softball field,” said Steve Sclafani, CEO & Founder of Softball Factory. “This is a chance for our top players to celebrate their success with Olympic Gold Medalist and All-American Jennie Finch and also take the next step to improve as players. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend of softball!”

Players who are selected for this event will have personal interaction with Finch as she will provide special coaching for pitchers during the event, and meet with players throughout the day on Saturday.

The players will also be honored in a special ceremony as a Softball Factory Pre-Season All-American, powered by Under Armour. Jennie will be the featured speaker and be available to meet and take photos throughout the evening, prior to on-field activities.

The prestigious event is a great way for players to jumpstart their spring season, as they’ll compete against other top peers with the opportunity to be recognized as having “Top Tools” from the Pre-Season Tournament.

For more information on the event, please visit the Pre-Season Page here.

Softball Factory Select Training at Historic Dodgertown Wrap-Up

The 2016 Softball Factory Select Training in Vero Beach at Historic Dodgertown last weekend exceeded expectations in terms of talent, attitude, and work ethic according to coaches and scouts. All of the players were extremely respectful and bought in to everything being taught to them in each session. In total, 47 players attended the event and each one brought something different to the table. 

Thursday Night was check in night for the athletes, and the evening concluded with the welcome meeting around 10 pm. During checking in, staff mingled with parents and talked to the players, enhancing the overall experience for everyone.

Bright and early on Friday morning, the players were out on the field, ready for a full day of training.

SFDodgertown

The morning session consisted of all defensive work to introduce the proper mechanics and fundamentals for each position. Each athlete learned a ton in just one session of introduction.

“It’s always great to see how much they can learn in just a couple of hours, because most of them have never been told the correct way to play their position,” said on-field director, CJ Browder.

After lunch, players rotated between speed/agility, base running, tee work, and on-field BP. Speed & Strength Coach, Richard ‘Tippy’ Golphin worked in each of the rotations so that the kids could start to become familiar with how their body works with strength and agility training and also the proper running technique. After dinner, players split into two groups. One group participated in a rotation in the cages while the other group was in the recruiting seminar, spending about an hour at each station. Coach Nicki Trumpler and Coach Nancy Evans ran the recruiting seminar and did a great job, while many questions were asked by parents and the athletes. The hitting cage rotation consisted of two front toss stations with different drills to work on hand path and engaging the lower half, and also tee stations to work on the basic mechanics of contact points.

Saturday morning saw a similar set up for the morning session, progressing on what the players had worked on the day prior. Each coach went more in depth and explained more on what each position needed to do to play the position to their full potential at a high level.

After Lunch, players continued their defensive work so the catchers could work with outfielders on throws to the plate, infielders could get a lot of ground balls and work on what they had learned, pitchers pitched to catchers, outfielders working with infielders on cut situations, and lastly infielders working on bunt coverages all together with catchers and pitchers involved as the coaches prepared the players for live game situations. 

After defense, the ladies had a very productive hitting circuit with speed/agility, tee work, along with two lanes of hitting on the field with base running. The group on field was split into two groups, one on the bases and one hitting. Both groups hit for fifteen minutes each, gaining as many reps as they could get in within that time period. Five coaches were on the field, talking to hitters and base runners and throwing front toss as well. Coach Tippy had his own field and did an amazing job with speed and agility, while Jill Semento worked with the other groups on the tees.

After Dinner wrapped, players went back out to the field and completed all of their measurables. The girls had a great time and the energy was great throughout the whole session. The girls had worked so hard all day and held themselves to high expectations. Coaches talked to the players about all they had learned that day and had a great talk with them before heading back to get some rest for the final day of the event. 

On Sunday morning, all the girls were finally ready to put what they had learned into game play. Two games were played to maximize each player getting playing time as opposed to us just playing one with 47 players. There was a game held on two fields with a lot of energy and great things happening. It was a pleasure to be apart of such a great event with such great athletes. They were respectful and knew was expected of them at all times, while holding themselves accountable just as we would. I believe it all starts from the top and our staff set such a great example from the start to the end.

Easton Fastpitch Award Winners From Dodgertown (with comments from Coach Browder)

Emma Kuhrt (Most Outstanding Camper) Easton Catching Glove Recipient- This kid has everything any coach could ever desire in an athlete as far as attitude, respect, and work ethic. I’m not sure if I’ve seen an athlete like this in a long time. She displayed the love, heart and passion for the game and how bad she wanted to succeed at EVERYTHING she was doing, no matter what it was. Every time she was talking to a coach or a friend you could see how genuine she was. The definition of a self-less, amazing kid that wants the person next to her to succeed just as much as she wants herself. 

Sydney Carter (MVP) Easton Glove Recipient- MVP says it all. Sydney was the best at the camp and continued to display how great her grit, and instincts were for the game. She’s such a great athlete at a young age. Definitely has the potential to go somewhere at the Division I level. 

Posey Pence (Infielder Award) Easton Glove Recipient- Posey showed her skills off throughout the camp with her smooth hands and footwork. She got even better throughout the time she was with us and continued to show her skills as an athlete at everything she did the entire time. Very athletic and great kid! 

Tori Maas (Outfielder Award) Easton Glove Recipient- Again, such a respectful and awesome kid to be around overall and her outfield skills, footwork, and angles to the ball were awesome. She wasn’t the strongest on the offensive side but she tore it up in the grass! She never stopped wanting to learn and get better with everything the coaches were talking about. Tori is an athlete that is never satisfied, and displays so much respect for the game. 

Virginia Gibson (Most Improved): Under Armour Glasses Recipient– The sweetest kid you could ever coach. She got so much better at every aspect of her game and was SO thankful for everything and everyone helping her. She was the quietest one, but every time she opened her mouth it was worth hearing. She never took a rep off and gave it her ALL the whole camp. 

“I can’t say enough how great the staff, kids, and overall the event went,” said Browder. “I truly think each and every person left this event with a smile and great vision for what Softball Factory has to offer and what a great experience it left in all of our minds. One for the books for sure. Once again, I am humbled to be part of such a great company focused on the development of such great kids.” 

Six Standouts From The 2016 Under Armour Eastern Classic

The 2016 Under Armour Eastern Classic was played in Henrico, VA on October 1st and 2nd at Dorey Park where 37 teams in total played in the three divisions (14U, 16U and 18U) as there were exciting games all weekend long, capped by a single-elimination style tournament to determine the champions. Below is the breakdown of teams by division and the winners.

10 teams in 14U Division – won by the Williamsburg Starz Gold (defeated VA Scappers 02, 7-0)

16 teams in 16U Division – won by the PA Ballhawks (defeated Richmond Diamonds, 3-2)

11 teams in 18U Division – won by VA Glory Premier Mertz-Neuhart (defeated SYA Xplosion, 8-0)

In addition to great team play, we continue to see outstanding talent from all around the country. Softball Factory Scouting and Operations Coordinator, CJ Browder had a first-hand look at some of the talent that performed well, providing notes on each of the players. These players were invited to the 2017 Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament, powered by Under Armour!

All-America Pre-Season Tournament Invitees (left to right) Kathryn Sandercock, Caitlin Myers, Emma Yates, Kaitlin Beasley-Polko, & Ally Kurland

Here are the six players invited for the 2017 Pre-Season Tournament in Conroe, TX:

Kathryn Sandercock RHP: Velo: 66 MPH- Strong command with each pitch, mixes pitches with control around the zone and will change speeds well.
Caitlin Myers C: POP TIME: 2.0- Leadership stand outs and she communicates well with her team, receives the ball well and works hard for het pitcher. Offensively, displays good power with a short compact swing and good barrel control.
Emma Yates C: POP TIME: 1.83- Defensively, Emma receives the ball with strong glove work and little movement. Quick feet and transfer for accurate throws and pop time to second. Displays smooth movement and strong leadership behind the plate. Offensively, very athletic presence – line drive hitter with gap-to-gap power.
Kaitlin Beasley-Polko RHP– Velo: 63/64- Great Rise ball and speed, lot of movement with pitches and command overall.
Ally Kurland C/1B– Strong and athletic behind the plate, strong receiving and good footwork. Offensivley, Ally has gap to gap power, stays inside the ball and uses good extension though the zone.
Emma Lemley RHP– VELO: 63- Throws hard, strong presence for being so young. Great stride off the mound, confident demeanor, fluid arm action and drive in her legs and uses full body to be effective. Good command and control on inside pitches to right handed hitters.

Seven Standouts From 2016 Under Armour Midwest Classic

The 2016 Under Armour Midwest Classic is in the books with talented players from around the country playing on their showcase teams over the weekend at Buchanon Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

In the 14U division, Team Elite took home the championship, defeating a very game Indy Dreams Gold – Lewis team by a score of 1-0.

In the 16U division, Kane County Xplosion defeated the TN Firebirds ’00 in the championship game by a score of 6-2.

Finally, in the 18U division, Music City Premier defeated the Tinley Park Rockers by a score of 5-3 to win the championship.

Over the weekend, we saw a great deal of exciting games and standout players on the field. Softball Factory Coach CJ Browder scouted each and every player and seven players will be receiving an invite for the 2017 Under Armour All-America Pre-Season Tournament next January in Conroe, Texas.

Hannah Tolley- CF- 2017/ Indiana Gators

Lead-off slapper with great speed down the line and around the base paths. Controlled footwork, smooth swing, and has good barrel control to place the ball to her advantage. Defensively, Great arm in the outfield with on target throws, diving catch on hard line drive during game play, covers ground.

Kat Mueller 3B/SS- 2018/ Indiana Gators

Gamer/smart athlete- Offensively has quick hands to the ball and lets the ball get deep in the zone to produce hard contact. Mueller, who has a verbal commitment to the University of Southern Indiana, showed a smooth swing through the zone, good balance and timing, solid/athletic stance. Defensively, strong arm with great footwork.

Olivia Knies- RHP- 2017/ Indiana Gators

Velo: 60/61 – Change up: 42 (good change of speeds)

Strong appearance stays calm with good composure in the circle, good mix of pitches & locations consistently, nasty change ups that she is comfortable throwing in any count; rise ball is very effective as well (jumps with great movement). She also can help her own cause at the plate by swinging the bat well, stays inside the ball well, gap to gap power.

Ma’Liya Stone- OF- 2017/Nashville Nighthawks

Very athletic- Offensively, slapper with amazing speed, just about untouchable with a bunt, controlled footwork and barrel, heads up base running and aggressive (can fly), defensively good first step and reaction off the bat, covers a lot of ground with good angles.

MadilynKimble

Madi Kimble

Madi Kimble C/OF- 2020/ Nashville Cruisers 01

Pure athlete- behind the plate, smooth movements, stay low and athletic in her set up, sticks ball with little movement, hustles/works hard for her pitcher, sticks the low pitch very well with thump under. Blocks well. Offensively, good rhythm, stays inside with smooth swing, gap to gap power, aggressive and good speed on bases, ready to take next base.

Riley Hurst- SS/2B- 2018/ TN Firebirds

Great bat speed, quick hands, HR Power!, Back to back triples deep on a 225 fence during game play, smooth swing, athletic with rhythm.

Jaelyn Sanders- LHP- 2020/ Louisville Select

Velo: 59 consistently- Drop Curve: 60/61 -Change up: 48

Strong command on all of her pitches, good movement and spin, pushes off rubber well, strong presence.

Softball Factory Standout Brett Coleman Commits to University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio

BrettColeman2017 RHP/1B Brett Coleman, a standout in January’s Softball Factory Pre-Season All-America Tournament, has verbally committed to the University of Incarnate Word, a Division I school playing in the Southland Conference.

Thrilled to get her career started at UIW, Coleman fell in love with everything about the school; the coaches, the campus and being in the city of San Antonio as she’s looking to make an immediate impact once she arrives.

As a player, I feel like I can contribute as a pitcher and a hitter,” Brett said. “I definitely was hoping for a school that would let their pitchers hit. Besides skills, though, I love to have fun with my teammates and coaches on and off the field, so I’m looking forward to that part too.”

Coleman had an outstanding showing in Vero Beach, FL back in January’s premier softball event, named as one of the tournament’s standout players, playing on Team Purple, coached by Softball Factory coaches, Dave and Leah Majeski.

Featuring a fastball that was consistently clocked in the high 50’s during the event, Coleman spotted her curveball exceptionally well as a true swing-and-miss pitch. Scouts also noted her tenacity for going right at hitters and not being afraid to throw inside.

At the Pre-Season All-American tournament in Florida last January, I remember being so nervous about everything—from what I was wearing the first night at the reception, to wondering if I would fit in, to worrying that I wouldn’t be a good enough player,” Brett said.

I think listening to Coach Ty (Rietkovich) that first night,” Brett mentions, “took all my stress away because he made us all laugh and relaxMostly, Softball Factory helped me to realize that I can be myself and to not worry so much about what other people might think. Also, I definitely know that I play my best softball when I am smiling and having fun!

Brett had so much fun. The coaches all seemed to have a true teaching spirit…on and off the field,” said Kelle Coleman, Brett’s mother. “That event gave her so much confidence in her skills and really taught her about what college coaches look for in an athlete. It was great to have Dave & Leah as coaches because they had every perspective—the coach, the parent, and the athlete!

I was very impressed with Brett at the Pre Season event,” said Julia Rice, Brett’s Player Development Coordinator. “She had movement and great speed on her ball. Brett had great stamina throughout the event, and her pitches only got better the more innings that she threw. She is a gamer and someone that I know will do extremely well at the next level. Our coaches not only liked the way she carried herself on the field, but more importantly how she carried herself off the field.”

Besides the game play, one of the more important takeaways for both Brett and Kelle was the recruiting advice given during the event.

Leading into Pre-Season, the recruiting process was an arduous one with not many schools giving Brett a look. Despite that, she stuck with it, continuing to work hard and not allow the thought of failure to set in.

The recruiting process is a long, stressful road,” Kelle mentions. “I think any parent would agree. One of the things I took away from the recruiting talks at the Pre-Season All-American Tournament was that everyone has a different path and to trust the process. I think what makes it so difficult is you hear about girls getting recruited as 8th and 9th graders, so older girls (and their parents) start to think it’s “too late”. Despite the doubts that creep in, you have to keep pushing, going to camps, sending those emails, and developing relationships along the way.”

And, together with help from the Factory and from Rice, those relationships were forged and went a long way in securing the school of her dreams. The family, likewise, is just as excited.

We are thrilled about Brett’s choice of UIW,” Kelle said. “The fact that it was a D1 school really wasn’t the biggest factor in her decision. Our prayer was that she found the right FIT for her, both academically and athletically. It’s so important that the school she attends cares about her as a person, not just a player. She will be close to home (but not too close she mentions), and being in the Southland Conference is great because even away games will be within driving distance for us.”

Recruiting with softball can be a big roller coaster,” Rice mentions. “I am very glad that Brett continued to be proactive and not give up on her dream to play college softball. She did everything the right way, and now is going to play at a Division 1 program. I couldn’t be happier for her.”

Brett also participated in the Mid America Championships in July of 2015 & ’16, events that have prepared her for the next step, leaving her with lasting memories.

When my team, Stealth 18u Gold, played in the Mid-America Championship last summer and ended up winning the whole tournament, I think it surprised lots of people because we were thought of as the underdogs. Our team was confident, though, and not intimidated by any team that we played. We have fun playing together and every single person contributed in some way,” Brett said.

Because of her talent and dedication to her craft, the Coleman Family realized that Brett’s dream school would become a reality, through all of those long days working to get better at Softball Factory Player Development events.

Brett learned through the Softball Factory to be herself and play her game no matter who the teammates are or who might be watching (college coaches),” Kelle said. “By playing alongside girls from across the United States, she realized how to be a better team player and I know she still has a connection to many of these girls and coaches to this day.”

The things I remember most about my experience with Softball Factory are the laughs, the confidence I gained, and the experiences that all the coaches shared,” Brett said. “They helped me realize that there was a school out there for me and I am so excited to be part of the University of Incarnate Word family!”

Softball Factory College World Series Select Training Recap

The threatening weather in Oklahoma City couldn’t stop the 2016 Softball Factory College World Series Select Training event from happening last weekend in Oklahoma City, OK.

Players checked into the dorms on Thursday night at Methodist Hall on the campus of Oklahoma City University. Later that evening, parents and players enjoyed the welcome meeting to get excited about the weekend’s events. Parents and players listened to a great speech from CJ Browder, Softball Factory Scouting and Operations Coordinator, who has worked with the Factory since 2013 and coached at Louisiana Tech University. Players received their gear and were able to watch the Oklahoma/Alabama game at the World Series on the big screen.

Despite the rain when the event began on Friday morning, players were still able to get work in, as they headed into the arena to complete measurables, work on speed and agility drills as well as throwing progression. Players hit in the Easton Hitting Lab as well as another hitting session in the cages later in the day, in addition to defensive position work on the baseball field. After dinner, the Factory displayed a Power Point presentation on recruiting, led by Lea Ann JarvisNicki Trumpler, Browder and Kelsey Horton.

On Saturday, players were back on the field and ready for a full day of instructional work, along with a four team scrimmage Saturday night. While two teams faced each other, the other two teams got some instructional work in the hitting facility. The weather played tricks on the situation again as the players were scheduled to go to the Women’s College World Series on Saturday night. Despite that, nearly all of the players, parents and staff were able to attend at least one game.

Sunday morning got off to an early start with more instructional work at 7:30 am and finished around 10:30 am with some situational defense with runners.

Overall, the event was a success and the players had a great time learning the game from outstanding coaches, training to get better and making new friends with other players from around the country.

The great coaching staff from the weekend were led by Senior Director of the Softball Factory, Lea Ann JarvisNicki TrumplerCJ BrowderNancy EvansShanna SmithKristina Hillberth-WyattLauren LupinettiKelsey HortonAmanda FefelLeslie MillerMaRae Cayton and Tippy Golphin.

Madison Miller

Following the event, three awards were given out to players based on their performance during their time at the event.

Most Improved – Madison Miller 2021 OF L/L from Jefferson, GA who was a participant in the 2015 Softball Factory Fall Classic and attended an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Waleska, GA in January, 2016.

MVP – Destiny Quiles 2019 C R/R from Vacaville, CA who we saw at a National Tryout in Sacramento, CA in February of 2015.

Sydney Cox

 

Best Camper – Sydney Cox 2020 SS R/switch from Asheboro, NC who attended a National Tryout in Greensboro, NC back in March.