Cayman’s fast-pitch hurlers have their sights set on international kudos.
The Cayman Islands Softball Association intends to work with a former Olympic coach to prepare for its biggest annual competition abroad. Marlon Thomas coordinates the softball association’s 2013 fast-pitch league and said the goal is to promote the sport.
“I have made contact with a coach by the name of Michael Bastian, he was the coach of the Chinese softball team in the Olympics before softball was removed from the Olympics,” Thomas said.
“Mr. Bastian has been here before and provided training and clinics in years gone. He has a school of fast-pitch softball in the US and has expressed willingness to assist us in promoting and improving softball in Cayman.
“We will be taking part in the Nicaraguan International Softball Tournament for Labor Day Weekend in Miami. We hosted this tournament in 2009 and the males became champions, whilst the females were second in their division. We will also try and invite a couple of teams to Cayman before the end of year to have some friendly games.
“We now have a fundraiser coordinator and will be doing fundraisers to help with these plans.”
The fast-pitch league is into week nine of its men’s division and week seven of the female division. According to the last available association standings, the 6-1 Jose’s Escape Pirates are the male leaders, while reigning champions Cayman Auto Diagnostic Clinic Stingers pace the ladies.
Jose’s Escape, affectionately called team Nicaragua by participants, have relied on the likes of Mel Omier to excel at the softball field in West Bay. They lead Bradimir Robinson and the reigning two-time champions, 3-3 Redimix Patriots (who are often called team Colombia) and 1-6 Donald Watler’s Latinos, often called team Cuba.
The Stingers, under coaches Robbie Cribb Sr. and John Cridland, have excelled with the likes of Stephanie Watler at the Field of Dreams in George Town. Chasing them are the Caledonian Wildcats and Carneth Thomas’ Team Extreme.
League games continue this weekend. For the men, Patriots have a double header as they face Pirates at 2.30pm before battling Latinos at 4.30pm on Sunday, 19 May. For the women, Stingers face Wildcats at 8.15pm on Saturday, 18 May.