Hello Again Fastpitch Softball Enthusiasts,
Welcome to the 20th Consecutive Year of The Fastpitch Bulletins. It has been a pleasure to be able to provide a service to the game throughout the years. Of course it all actually got started in the spring of 1988 when I started the Fastpitch Chronicle Newsletter which then became a newspaper until August of 2004.
The annual Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association's annual Coaches Clinic is over (interrupted by yet another major snowstorm). The speakers were top notch with some great information for coaches both young and old. The buzz sessions at the table in the lounge were fantastic with lots of shared information between both young and older coaches. There were three young coaches there that were teammates on the UW-River Falls softball team. Ali Murray, whom I've known since the summer between her sixth grade and seventh grade school years is an assistant softball coach and head girls' basketball coach at what is now Pepin/Alma. Ayna Ledwin hails from the Twin Cities area but now lives in Pepin and works at the Durance school district was a hoot to hang out with on Friday night. On Saturday I met the third one, Sarah Sorenson who hails from Chippewa Falls (played for Jared Faherty at CHI-HI) and is now the Head Softball Coach at Madison West. There were many other coaches who took part in the buzz sessions both listening and teaching. It's always great to chat with Kurt Ryhner, Head Coach at Thorp, Mike LaFever, Head Coach at Random Lake, Matt Bellerive, head coach at Pepin/Alma and Brian Phelps, Head Coach at Gilman. There are always others who stop by and chat like Brad Ceranski, now the new Head Coach at Fall Creek and President of the WFSCA, Dale Gray, Head Coach at Wisconsin Dells and many others. We also met some new friends that are coaching across the Badger State.
The Hall of Fame induction banquet was a highlight for me. There were five inductees who gave interesting speeches and there were presenters who were also interesting to listen to. The inductees in alphabetical order were Dan Bayreuther who coached at Fort Atkinson and Janesville Craig, Joel Classen of Pius X! (that is in Milwaukee), Gary Haus who coaches at Rice Lake, Jim "Louie" Lawinger who who coaches at Sussex Hamilton and the first-ever umpire to be inducted John Peterson of Madison.
I enjoy the induction banquets and especially the pre-banquet social where we get a chance to congratulate, welcome and share stories with them.
I have updated the Coaches' Honor Roll Career wins list based upon information given to me personally at the clinic as well as off the awards sheet that Greg Lampe had included in the Clinic Brochure packet. Take a look at the Coaches Honor Roll. If you are a coach and your name is not under one of the many mileposts we have therein just get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get the list updated.
Of special note about the Coaches Honor Roll is the fact that it is The Fastpitch Chronicle Coaches Honor roll but it also appears on the wissports.net site. When a visitor to wissports.net clicks on the softball tab and then clicks on Coaches Honor Roll that click is actually a quick link to The Fastpitch Chronicle website.
The wissports.net site offers a great statistics program for coaches that are willing to post their team stats on a public venue. In order for a player to be listed among the state leaders in specific categories her team's stats must be posted on the wissports.net site. If coaches use one of the other online stats app or program the players from that team will not appear on the statewide leader board on the wissports.net site.
I'd like to thank and pay a tribute to the hard-working coaches and former coaches who comprise the WFSCA Executive Board and District Representatives. They work hard to provide a great clinic and all star games series. They also work hard for the sport within Wisconsin. Clinic Director Cindy Suess (WFSCA Vice-President) does a great job at leading way on that project.
The Fastpitch Chronicle Pre-Season Watch List followed by an actual Pre-Season ranking of all five divisions.
Advice from an Old Farmer
As the season draws closer and closer I thought I'd include the following Advice From A Farmer I was came across. The thoughts within the list of statements actually are good for any part of a person's life. Here it is.
Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.
Interesting Play to Ponder
This play occurred in a game that I was covering and eventually writing about last August at the International Softball Congress Men's World Tournament at Circle Tap just outside Denmark, Wisconsin. I included in this first Bulletin for 2020 to get the season off correctly What are your thoughts on the play?
There was a runner at first base with less than two outs in an apparent sacrifice situation. B2 squared around early and got the bat on the ball. Before contact was made the catcher was rising up and moving forward. The ball was bunted just to the right side of the plate just into fair territory. As the catcher was moving quickly forward her shin guard and the bat that had been left behind by the batter came into contact with each other. The catcher had the ball in her throwing hand within one second of the ball touching the dirt. She picked it up and threw to first. The play happened so fast that the throw from the catcher caromed off the batter-runner’s helmet and into foul territory along the first baseline fence and remained in play. Both runners advance another base leaving them at second and third.
The coach of the defensive team started claiming that the contact between the bat and the catcher’s shin guard amounted to interference by the batter which would mean that batter would be out and the runner who had been at first at the time of the pitch would be returned to first base.
The umpires ruled that either the action of getting rid of the bat did not constitute a thrown bat but incidental contact because the catcher acted so quickly. She could have had the batter out by 25 feet had she stepped to her left and created a throwing lane to first instead of throwing over top of the runner.
That's it for this issue.
Keep it Rising!