Fastpitch development gets under way in Milton Keynes with Under-10s

Mon 5 Jun 2017

BSUK’s programme to develop fastpitch softball in England has expanded downwards in age with a highly successful Under-10s Fastpitch Day held on Saturday 13 May in Milton Keynes.

The event took place at Conniburrow Sports Pavilion, a fully-fenced dirt softball diamond, and came about following a meeting between fastpitch clubs in Towcester, Leicester and Nottingham, who identified a need for localised youth competition for younger members in the Midlands.

Two teams entered the event, from Leicester and Nottingham, and this resulted in 21 children and a large number of parents enjoying an exciting day.

The Leicester team was made up of baseball and softball players from the Leicester Blue Sox's “Little Sox” youth programme, while the Nottingham contingent was made up of children from the Nottingham Rebels Baseball Club and the Misfits Softball Club.

BSUK Midlands Development Manager Leah Holmes organised the event, while BSUK Fastpitch Development Manager Johanna Malisani and GB Under-16 Assistant Coach Joss Thompson coordinated the day’s activities.

Games

The day started with a warm-up for all the young players, and Jo Malisani got them giggling with her sumo wrestler impressions!

Then the first game began, with Leicester as the home team.  All games were coach-pitch, with Jo pitching and Joss Thompson umpiring, and each game was a two-inning affair, with each team batting through the order in both innings to ensure that all players got turns to bat. 

Players changed positions after every inning, which meant that over the three games played, everyone got to field at lots of different positions, including many players donning the catcher’s gear for the first time!

Leicester won the opening game by 14-13, and next up was a relay throw activity won by Nottingham.  This inspired the Nottingham team to win the second game of the day by a score of 11-10, with both teams showing great improvements in fielding during this game.

The next activity was a sprint relay where the teams competed against each other before mixing together, and this was followed by a final three-inning game.

Nottingham led 17-15 at the end of two innings, and after some fantastic batting by both teams in the final inning, Leicester wasn’t quite able to come back.  So the game ended 27-20 in favour of Nottingham, who went home as the Midlands U-10 Fastpitch Champions.

Awards and thanks

The day concluded with presentations.  All players took home certificates, and male and female MVPs selected from each team received MLB caps.  Two Rookies of the Day were also selected from among those who hadn't played before but had shown great spirit and potential, and these were presented with a new glove.

The Nottingham MVPs were Noah Hickling-Fox and Migdalia Hernandez, and the Nottingham Rookie award went to Casey Hickling-Fox.

Leicester’s MVPs were Arnav Rai and Shannon Browne, with the Leicester Rookie award going to Anwita Rai.

Many thanks were offered to Joss Thompson from Towcester Tigers, Matt Crawshaw and Steve Rollins from the Leicester Blue Sox, and Paul Cooper and Shannon Henry from Nottingham for their help on the day.

Next event

The next event in the series will be a Girls’ U-16 competition on Saturday 24 June at Conniburrow Sports Pavilion in Milton Keynes.

Registration is available for teams or individuals from anywhere in the country at: https://bsuk.wufoo.com/forms/zypl1yo1rywwf4/.

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