Category Archives: Player Development

Standout Players From 2018 UA Softball Factory All-America Rookie Pre-Season and All-America Pre-Season Tournaments

For the first time in Softball Factory history, the All-America Pre-Season Tournament included younger athletes at the UA Softball Factory All-America Rookie Pre-Season Tournament at Scrap Yard Sports in Conroe, TX.

The event for the second straight year featured special guest, three-time All-American, Jennie Finch, with wide-ranging talent from across the country. Check out some of the highlighted players from each event, featuring notes from our coaching staff.

UA Softball Factory All-America Rookie Pre-Season Tournament

Reagan Marchant (1B, 2022) – Reagan is a vocal leader on the field, and is very athletic. Good position awareness at first, very coachable. Offensively, she makes adjustments at the plate, squares up the ball well and has good pop. Great team player. Was named Best Defensive Player of the event.

Kayla Garber (SS, 2022) – Takes command at short, strong arm, and showed good position awareness at multiple positions. Switch hitter with power from both sides, making hard, consistent contact. Took home the first ever Rookie MVP award at the event.

Lilly Hood (2B/OF, 2022) – Lilly is a power hitter, great plate awareness and a very hard out to get. Best of all, she’s coachable with a great work ethic. Was named Best Offensive Player at the event.

Sophia Bianco (SS, 2022) – Sophia moves well at short, taking great angles to the ball. Bianco is a line drive hitter with pop on her bat. Overall, a strong athlete with a ton of potential. She was one of the Most Improved players at the event.

Emma McLean (OF/IF, 2022) – Emma showed good bat control, takes good angles in the outfield when tracking balls, and not afraid to go after it and dive for them either. Her arm plays well from the field. She was one of the Most Improved players at the event.

UA Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament

Taryn Bennett (C/2B, 2020) – Bennett calls her own game; excellent framer of pitches, strong arm with quick release. Offensively, she has pop in her bat, hits to all fields, squares up the ball. Named Top Offensive Player of the Tournament. 

Hayley Parrott (SS/RHP, 2019) – Parrott is an absolute spark plug on the field; plays her position well. What a gamer. Barrels up the ball well, solid line drive hitter. Confident and coachable, she has all the tools to play at the collegiate level. Parrott was named the All-America Pre-Season MVP.

Madison Shea (OF, 2020) – Shea demonstrated her ability to be a vocal leader on the field. In the outfield, she takes great angels to the ball, and offensively, has gap to gap power. Shea was named Top Defensive Player of the Tournament.

Jessica Persechino (SS/RHP, 2019) -Persechino was very effective on the mound at Pre-Season. She gets key outs, and is also no easy out at the plate with the bat. She was the Most Improved Player of the Tournament. 

Drive and Perseverance Pay Off For Softball Factory Player Hailey Polisano, Committing to University of New Haven

Hailey with Jennie Finch at January’s Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament

Softball Factory athlete, Hailey Polisano has verbally committed to play softball at the next level for the University of New Haven. Hailey, a slap hitter and outfielder/second baseman for Howell High School in New Jersey, is set to graduate in 2018.

With Softball Factory, Hailey has attended numerous events since coaches first saw her in the summer of 2013, just before she began eighth grade, including two Under Armour National Tryouts and a College PREP event in her home state of New Jersey. After attending her first tryout, she was one of the very few from the event selected to participate in the Advanced Training at the World Cup in Oklahoma and held her own.

Making tremendous strides at each event, she played with athletes from across the country at the 2015 Under Armour Softball Factory Fall Classic, and later, found success at Softball Factory’s biggest event, the All-America Pre-Season Tournament, receiving the honor in 2016 and 2017. She even got to meet USA Olympic Gold medalist and softball legend Jennie Finch at last year’s All-America Pre-Season Tournament.

Hailey on her high school team.

Hailey has been playing softball since the fifth grade, and has been in love with the sport ever since. Polisano, who also runs track in high school, has credited that for helping her stay in shape for softball. She loves to run, making the outfield her favorite place to play on the field.

As a sophomore in high school, Hailey blossomed into a key player for the 2016 Howell Rebels. She batted .385 with five walks, three doubles, 12 RBI’s, 25 total hits and 18 runs scored. This past season, Hailey’s bat helped lead the team to a 15-6 record, posting a .352 batting average with 12 walks, a triple, double, six RBI’s, 19 total hits, 12 runs scored, and an on-base percentage of .640.

With success on the field and in the classroom, the time came for Hailey to begin the grueling process of recruiting, one in which Hailey has relished. After many college visits, Hailey found comfort in her decision to commit to the University of New Haven. She visited New Haven six times, loves her new coach and the connections the university has for her major – Music Production & Recording Arts – made it an easy decision.

Hailey with her Player Development Coordinator, Julia Rice.

“It was a good all around fit for me,” said Haley. “Everything I wanted in a college, New Haven had it.”

Hailey remained proactive throughout the recruiting process, putting a plan in place for her college visits to get on the radar of coaches, something that got her noticed with New Haven.

She did everything the right way,” said Julia Rice, Hailey’s Player Development Coordinator. “Hailey looked at her major first, then looked at softball. There were many schools who liked her, but didn’t have her major. It shows a huge sign of maturity for her to look at majors first and what she wants to do with her life, and then look second at the softball program. Every week she was emailing coaches and calling coaches.”

I think by having a good resume, it gave her the courage to go in front of a coach and say “Come watch me, I’ve got what it takes. Softball Factory thinks so,” said Hailey’s mom, Regina.

The process Hailey went through was made much easier because of her work with the Softball Factory, helping to shape her into the player she has become.

“They gave me the skill set of a D1 recruit,” said Haley. “I had maybe four or five D1 schools recruiting me, and I could never have gotten to that point without what the coaches of Softball Factory gave me.”

To parlay what she learned from Softball Factory coaches, the College PREP event she attended provided her a huge recruiting tool; that being a recruiting video.

“I was able to send out reliable information to coaches and get on their radar,” Haley recalls from her video. “It definitely opened up a lot of doors for me.”

Working on her slapping and getting faster are areas for improvement, but understands that every facet of her game will be a constant work in progress.

“You’re never the perfect player, and there is always someone better then you,” said Haley. “You’re always looking to get better.”

Hailey’s favorite event attended with Softball Factory happens to also be the most challenging one she attended.

“Oklahoma was my first player development event ever, and I didn’t know it was an advanced event,” said Hailey. “ (Coach Lea Ann) Jarvis definitely worked us, it was hard because I wasn’t used to that, it was 110% all the time. It was a great experience that I loved because I knew it would make me better.”

Hailey with Coach Browder (left) and Coach Chavanne (right).

Hailey recalls her time at the 2015 Under Armour Softball Factory Fall Classic in Savannah, GA, where she had to quickly mesh with her teammates within two days and play against tournament teams who had been together throughout the year. They needed to learn quickly how to play with each other, but conquered the challenge and exceeded all expectations.

“We won more games than we lost, which no one thought would happen. You don’t know these girls, so you had to learn to gel with them, basically in the middle of the game. Our coaches were Leah Majeski and Raven Chavanne, which was an amazing experience, because someone who played at the University of Alabama (Majeski) who was a slapper and a slapper from the University of Tennessee and Team USA (Chavanne) and me being a slapper coached by those two players, was something I never had before.”

With her passion and dedication, Hailey has become a natural leader on the field as well.

“She has never been a quiet one, but every event she has been a part of you could she her confidence grow.” said coach Lea Ann Jarvis. “She would step out and lead with her voice but more so with her actions on and off the field.”

Coach Jarvis and the rest of the Softball Factory staff worked the girls to their limits, bringing out the best in Hailey.

Hailey with Coach Majeski.

I think Softball Factory has shown Hailey that she’s not always the best player on that field,” said Regina. “There’s a better girl who wants to outwork you. It definitely humbled her. It put her into a boot camp-type mentality that she needed when she got on the field. It was an eye opener.”

Rice, who began working with the Polisano’s in 2014, immediately saw the role of leader in Hailey, always bringing a positive attitude, hustling on and off the field and taking a vocal role with her team.

When I started working with her she had already been to about 3-4 events, and really understood what the “Factory Way” meant,” said Rice. “She knew what our coaching staff expected of her, and was an amazing leader on and off the field. She tries to absorb as much information as she can to take back home with her. She really emulates the full Softball Factory player.”

When you go out there to a Softball Factory event, there is always someone better than you. It makes you work harder. Being from New Jersey and having played with girls from all over the country and seeing all sorts of competition I had never seen before, it was humbling. Coming from a small town like Howell and only being able to see what other competition is like in the state, I knew that wasn’t going to help me develop as a softball player.”

Those Softball Factory events gave Hailey opportunities to play against the best, further developing as a player, crucial for someone in a cold weather state where they can’t play year around.

Hailey at Factory Athletics HQ’s in Columbia, MD

Coming to Softball Factory events, playing with these players, working with legendary coaches who are giving back, being exposed to all that definitely helps someone like me from the north who doesn’t play all year around.”

Hailey has not only grown as a softball player, but as a person too. Regina has seen the same thing and has mentioned to others about the power of the player development aspect with Softball Factory.

People talk about the costs, and I tell them, it’s not that, it’s what you get out of the experience. You pay for batting lessons, it’s the same thing – you learn a skill from them. People say they get you recruited. No, they give you tools, but no one gets you recruited, you get yourself recruited.”

Looking back on the 13 events attended with the Factory, she’s not done just yet, as she’ll become a three-time Pre-Season All-American when she attends the event next January. Her hope is to someday give back and help coach with Softball Factory once she’s settled into her collegiate career.

I am so excited for her to head off to college in a year and play collegiately,” said Rice. “With Hailey wanting to work Factory events in the future, being able to share her story to the next generation of softball players will really be special.”

“She has done everything we asked of her and more,” said Jarvis. “She has grown so much as a ball player, and it has been a joy to be apart of it every step of the way. She was always in the front, eyes up, ears wide open, and had great questions for me and the staff. She breathed it all in and ran with it! I can’t wait to she her put that uniform on at the next level and live her dream!

“I just love playing the game,” said Hailey. “I give 110% on the field, and I have fun every second.”

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 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 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.” 

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 Mid-America Championship Recap

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.

Stand-out players:

Paige Dorsett

Alyssa Stanley

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

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

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.

Former Pre Season All American Tijerina Commits to NAIA School

Bonnie Jean Tijerina

The softball program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas has only been around since 2010 but have already emerged as a powerhouse in the Red River Athletic Conference. The Saints have made an appearance in the post season six out of the past seven years and they are gearing up to continue that streak.

On Monday, Bonnie Jean Tijerina signed to play for the Saints, who are led by head coach James Kling. 

Taking after her father Tano, a former professional baseball player, Bonnie began playing softball at the age of nine and by sixth grade was dominating on the softball field. As a United High School freshman, Bonnie joined the varsity softball team where she has played all four years. 

We first saw Tijerina at a January 2013 College PREP event in San Antonio, TX. Only a sophomore in high school, Softball Factory coaches saw something special in the versatile player.

“Bonnie Jean is a talented young 1B with a ton of potential.” reads one of her early evaluations. “Overall, Bonnie Jean has a bright future in this game if she remains committed and continues to find ways to get better and challenger herself.” 

Bonnie Jean has done just that. Since 2013, she has been selected to participate in multiple high level, invite-only events including the 2013 Softball Factory Christmas Camp & Tournament and the 2014 Softball Factory Pre Season All American Tournament.

“Overall, she is a leader on the field with good presence and necessary components to be a competitor,” said Lea Ann Jarvis, Senior Director of Softball Factory, after seeing Bonnie at a tournament in 2014. “She has a solid athletic ability to help aid in her continued development as a player.”

Bonnie Jean, center, with her family and coach

Bonnie verbally committed to play at Our Lady of the Lake University in February 2016.

“Thanks to Softball Factory and all the coaches that invested in her, she is going on to the next level,” said her father by email. “They [Coach Griffin and Coach Jarvis] made a huge impact on her future.”