Take up the Challengers ladies

Local softball is set to go into motion and there is still time for local women to get involved.

The Challengers female softball team is currently looking for adult players for the 2010 fast/modified pitch season.

At present there are 10 open spaces on the team. Previous experience in the sport would be an asset.

Team manager and player Kathline Rankin says the club was badly affected by roll-over.

‘We have lost many of our players due to the rollover policy as we have a high number of ex-pats. At the beginning of each season we have been forced by circumstances to recruit new players.

‘We are the newest female team to the league as this will be our third year. Although a few of us have had past experience the fact that we have not been able to maintain a core group has not been a great advantage to us. By the time we start bonding some one has to leave the island.’

In addition to new players the team is slated to go into 2010 with a new coach in Bradley Robinson. The Colombian native is currently the manager for the ‘Old Providence’ team in the male league.

Rankin, who is actually Colombian, is one of eight confirmed players on the Challengers thus far (all returning from last year).

The side boasts a great international flair with Canada, the US, Cayman and the Dominican Republic all represented.

As Rankin states her team is unlike the strong Caymanian presence seen in the rest of the league.

‘Although the other female teams have a few ex-pat players, most of their team is made up by persons with status and/or permanent residency.’

Though the squad is relatively new the team (sponsored in the past by National Concrete and Greenlight RE) has had some success. Last season six players took part in the Nicaraguan International Softball Tournament (which Cayman hosted at the Field of Dreams for the first time).

Rankin played first base for one of the two Cayman female teams alongside team-mates Larissa Neville (catcher and Challengers team captain), Lori Nord (second base), Jen Reggin (third base), Odie Makrygiannis (short-stop) and Evelyn Alejo (center field).

Interestingly the restart of co-ed softball this month has been sort of a deterrent for prospective fast-pitch softball players.

As Rankin states, many rather the more relaxed pace of the co-ed version.

‘The co-ed league has over 20 teams and it is my impression, from the responses I have gotten when asking players to join my team, that a) its too competitive at a high level, b) becoming a part of fast-pitch softball demands too much commitment and c) the injury factor is a concern (though we have proper equipment).

‘Nevertheless we are hoping to recruit a few more players and continue training in order to improve our skills and climb up the standings.’

The new fast-pitch softball season is slated to start February 14 and run until June. Games are expected to be played at little league facilities once a week on Saturday and Sunday afternoons alternately.

  • To get on the Challengers team call Kathline Rankin at 916-7688 or Larissa Neville at 926-5696.