Girls slugged it

A number of young ladies recently got a chance to hone their skills on the diamond via a special camp.

Roughly 28 girls (ages 9-17) participated in a 10-hour softball instructional camp held at the Field of Dreams complex from 9-11 December. The camp was organized by female softball player Jessica Pawlik, with support from the Cayman Islands Little League.

Pawlik served as a camp instructor alongside Shamar Ennis. Serving as guest instructor was Allison Kime, a visiting coach from the University of Central Florida. The school boasts a division one athletics program with its girls softball program making the NCAA Tournament and playing in the Conference USA championship this spring. The side beat Rollins College in November in the last contest for the 2010 Fall season.

At the camp the three ladies were supported by many coaches from the local little league including Robbie Cribb, John Cridland, Alnie Kandler, Rob Duty and Jeremy Rice. The theme of the camp was learning new skills and improving techniques. The girls went through various drills that focused on the fundamentals including throwing, fielding, catching, batting and pitching. Some of the advanced items taught were bunting, base running and learning signs. On the final afternoon, the girls were guided through a two hour scrimmage game, with all of the coaches offering positive instructions and reinforcement.

On the whole the girls were amazed at Coach Allison’s skills, particularly the speed of her pitching and throwing. When asked to rate the camp on a scale from 1 to 10, player Kayla Whittaker responded: “It was a 15!”

In turn, Kime was very impressed with a number of the Cayman girls and she feels that a few of them may have the opportunity to play college softball in the years to come. Kime, Pawlik and Ennis also made it a point to talk to the girls about having a positive attitude towards the game so that they have fun while taking the game seriously.

Jeremy Rice, Division Coordinator for the local little league softball programme, was delighted with the success of the camp.

“We had a terrific turnout, the weather was fantastic and I am very grateful to Allison, Jessica and Shamar for giving up so much of their time to work with our girls,” Rice said. “The players really learned a lot this weekend and it will only help to build up softball for the young ladies in Cayman.”

Cayman Islands Little League and the camp organizers would also like to thank Mr. Roy Purcell for his sponsorship towards the camp, which helped to lower the registration costs for participants.

The camp comes ahead of the start of the spring league for girls softball, which runs from February to May. Registration for the league is slated to be completed by Saturday, 8 January. There are still spaces for many more girls to sign up. If any business would like to sponsor one of the girls’ softball teams for the upcoming season please contact Al Lovinggood at the league office.

For further information e-mail [email protected] or phone 916-5643. Alternatively visit the new website at www.thecilla.com

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