Thomas: We should coordinate more fastpitch tournaments

Fastpitch softball in Cayman has hopes of challenging more overseas opposition. 

With a history of solid performances at the Nicaraguan International Softball Tournament, there is talk of widening Cayman’s involvement in competitions around the region. In fact, Cayman Islands Softball Association president Marlon Thomas said matches could be held here. 

“We have done fairly well at the tournaments we have attended over the past years and have fell short of either making it to the finals or being crowned champions,” Thomas said. “That, at times, has been due to injuries or not traveling with the adequate number of players. 

“It certainly would be interesting to be able to coordinate a Caribbean tournament and see what level each island/country is at. I am speaking from the male gender.”  

Thomas served as coordinator for the association’s 2013 fast-pitch league, which wrapped up in October. Redimix would beat the Jose’s Escape Pirates in five games in their best-of-five championship series. Starring for the Patriots were Bradimir Robinson, Mark Chow and Michael Carey, while the Pirates leaned on Byron Bravo, Rodolfo Whitaker and Mel Omier. 

The women’s division wrapped up in July with the Cayman Auto Diagnostic Clinic Stingers earning their second straight national title. The Stingers beat Cayman National Bank Team Xtreme in three games in the best-of-three finals at Field of Dreams. Starring for CADC would be Jessica Pawlik, Stephanie Watler and Krystal Arch, while Team Xtreme relied on Carneth Thomas, Molly-Ann Moore and Daneliz Thomas. 

League action is expected to resume next March. For the offseason, there were tentative talks of playing exhibition games in Cuba. 

Thomas said aside from the level and availability of local talent, the sport has to address disciplinary issues in order to take the next step. 

“As you might have noticed whilst coming and covering the games, we need to first and foremost be more disciplined and allow officials to do what we ask them to do; which is to officiate. The level of respect for the game and the officials needs to be addressed. 

“As much as no one likes to lose, the reality is there cannot be two winners. We sometimes get too caught up in getting that W and it must be at all cost, not focusing on or sometimes not caring for the bigger picture, which is the sport itself. This, sometimes, chases away prospective and present players.  

“The sad part is that some knowingly feed off others’ indisciplined behavior, instead of correcting them, and it only compounds the issue. But I can only hope and try to remain optimistic.” 

“It certainly would be interesting to be able to coordinate a Caribbean tournament and see what level each island/country is at.” 
MARLON THOMAS 

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Michael Carey led Redimix to the championship. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES
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