The Softball Junkie Comic

Issue #7 The easiest most portable Bunt Trainer on the market!

Fastpitch Softball Junkie Comic 7

Softball Junkie Issue 7

This week Coach V and the girls plan a softball Team Fundraiser. for all your catcher gear needs!

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View From The Stands

Written by Cat Osterman


View From The Stands

This year was the first time I have gone to the World Series as a spectator with vested interest. Even though I was only at one game supporting my beloved Longhorns, it was the most fun I have ever had in the stands. I left Hall of Fame stadium that night, emotionally exhausted from cheering, yelling, and just enjoying what has become an awesome experience.

The Women’s College World Series has become just that. It’s no longer just a tournament or a few games. It is an experience, and one so many athletes can dream to be a part of thanks to ESPN broadcasting the entire tournament. Athletes watch teams compete, and think, “I want to be there.” Growing up, we were lucky to see the Championship game on ESPN. That left us only watching two teams, and if you had not adamantly followed, you didn’t know what other 6 teams were in OKC.

It’s been fun to watch the event grow. It was fun to be immersed in a sea of fans that traveled up to watch their team. It’s awesome to meet people who come from far and wide because they are fans of softball. Meeting couples that have been sitting in the stadium seats for years before I played is an awesome feeling. Our sport is still popular. It’s still growing, and the World Series has become far more than what it was when I played.

To have a reflection like this was amazing. To see how much it’s grown, to experience it from a different side, it was a true pleasure. College softball will continue to grow, and parity will make this experience better. Thankfully more girls have the opportunity to dream to be a part of it.

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Speed Kills!

Written By Natasha Watley The easiest most portable Bunt Trainer on the market!

Speed Kills


Speed kills!!! I know this firsthand being a Shortstop and having to throw out someone who gets down the line in less than 2.9 seconds. Now throw into the mix someone who is technically getting a head start in the batters box to get down the line and they may hit it hard, soft, or even may bunt. Yes, I’m talking about slappers! Lucky me, I get to partake in this activity offensively, so I’m not too mad. There is no better feeling than putting a ball in play, putting some pressure on the defense and beating it out. This truly is my rush and it never gets old. Slapping has been a part of my game for about 18 years, and truly is an aspect that continues to keep me in love with the game.

Slapping has definitely evolved over the years . Whereas before you could pretty much get away with solely being a slapperlbunter, in other words just a short gamer with no power so to speak. Nowadays with better pitching, defense and game all around, to survive, it’s required to be a triple threat. Being able to use different types of slaps (hard, soft, chop), swinging away, bunting as reliable tools in your arsenal is the best recipe for a successful triple threat.

Slapping is definitely a skill that has taken years for me to piece together (I’m still learning!). Slapping has been my bread and butter so to speak and has been my forte throughout the majority of my career. Before attending UCLA, I was primarily just a soft slapper that put the ball on the ground and occasionally mixed in some bunts. I didn’t even have a power/hard slap!

By, the end of my career, it was necessary to not only reinvent myself but necessary to open up my game by adding a power game. By the end of my career in college, I was standing in and swinging away for power regularly. In my senior year I had 10 home runs vs. 1 home run as a freshman! Even then, I didn’t really do anything with power off my slap. By the time I reached the National team, that’s when I started developing a hard slap. Now, in Japan, because of their quickness & strengths defensively I swing away at a higher percentage vs. slapping. I have definitely reached a point in my career where now I’m comfortable hitting, slapping or bunting, in any given situation . I can say this now at the young ripe age of 31 ! (Sarcasm) So point being, it has taken time to develop all my tools, to effectiveness & comfort ability.

I will devote the majority of my columns to slapping/short game/triple threat. In this article I will be listing my top 10 tips of slapping/being a triple threat, which are always evolving. So please keep in mind, that the order they are written in, aren’t set in stone in order of importance nor are some of the aspects of slapping that are not listed not viewed as unimportant. Just my top tips if you asked me today. So, over the next couple of months, I will use these tips in my up coming articles.

10 tips for Slapping/Triple Threat

10. Reading the defense/defenders

9. Using field conditions to your advantage

8. Know what your doing before the pitch is thrown (i.e. slapping vs. hitting away or bunting)

7. Keep batting stance consistent

6. Utilize your strengths (if good bunter, find ways to set that up in At Bats)

5. Stay closed

4. Perfect one tool at a time (when learning/starting out)

3. Maximize batters box

2. K.I.S.S (Keep it stupid simple) Ball in play .. .ON THE GROUND

1. Timing is everything

I encourage all young slappers to be patient in their rate of perfecting every aspect there is to being a successful triple threat. It takes time to develop, so perfecting a single skill at a time is highly recommended. Happy Slapping & Good Luck!

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Buford T. Justice Said it Best

Written By Coach Dalton

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One of my favorite movie characters by far is Buford T. Justice. Despite my old age I still vividly recall a scene where this crusty old sheriff stopped only momentarily to confront a group of boys in the middle of nowhere as they were clearly trying to steal a car. Well sort of. You see he didn’t have time to actually arrest them since he was in “hot pursuit” so he had them place their hands on the car and then told them to watch the car until one of his fellow officers arrived because there might be vandals out there who would want to harm the car. You probably didn’t see the movie but I’ll just bet you can imagine what the boys were thinking as this sheriff walked back towards his car. Then old Buford T. Justice turned back to them and uttered one of the funniest lines in history without cracking as much as a grin … “Don’t go home. Don’t go to eat …. Oh you can think about it. But DON’T do it.”

No I haven’t lost the other half of my mind. There is a absolutely a purpose to why I said Buford T. Justice said that line best as I will be using it later in the article and it’s important that you have a point of reference for the intensity with which I want you to perceive the line.

If you did the work I asked you to do last month I’m sure by now you have completely dominated the art of diving for a ball that is in front of you. This month we are going to kick it up a notch and work on diving for balls that are, “gulp”, at your side instead of right in front of you. The “gulp” of course is my dramatic way of drawing attention to what you might already be thinking “How in the world can I dive for a ball at my side without injuring my shoulder?” Sometimes in life there are silly fears, but this isn’t one of them this is a legitimate fear. So much so that we will start very slowly. Get your glove and a ball and then kneel down. Hold the ball in your throwing hand and separate it from your glove hand. On your knees try to lean forward almost to the point you will fall over with your glove facing up. Now imagine that the ball was hit right in front of you, continue leaning and sort of dive forward and bring your hands together for the catch. Remember (or go back and read last months article) that the key is always, always, always to continue extending your arms.

Now sit back up and I’m going to have you try again but just slightly differently. This time imagine that the ball is hit about 1 foot to your glove hand side instead of being exactly in front of you. Make the diving catch and continue extending. Sit up and try again, only imagine it was hit about 1 more foot towards your glove hand side. Make the diving catch and continue extending. Continue doing this until you imagine the ball being hit almost directly at your side. As you do this you are going to notice one thing about yourself that you hadn’t before. Your brain is actually very intelligent when it comes to learning something new like this. Because while you didn’t have to think about consciously your sub conscious brain told your hips to pivot before diving for the ball. So while the ball started going to your side, your brain simply adjusted your body towards the balls location and you actually dove straight out. Just happened to be straight out to your side.

Now sit back up and lets imagine, not do, just imagine, a hit to the side of your body you throw from or what we call your “backhand” side. This is a bit different and does cause us to think. Until now we have been making these sure two handed catches while diving. But if your glove is turned over to make the catch so that you are looking at the back of your hand it’s kind of odd to put your throwing hand on top of the ball for a two handed catch. Go ahead and see how that feels by holding the ball in your glove like you’ve made a back handed catch and see how it feels to try and cover it up. Silly right. Nobody does that. And so now we are left in a bit of a pickle. What do you do with your throwing hand when you dive?

Oh you’re going to want to put it on the ground to brace yourself. You’re going to want to put it on the ground because you don’t know what else to do with it. But listen closely . . . . “Oh you can think about putting that hand down, but DON’T do it.” You didn’t see that one coming did you? Seriously with the strongest look I can give you don’t dive and put that hand straight down, you do not want all of the energy that your body takes into the ground coming right back through that one hand/arm/shoulder.

You have to drive that arm forward just as though you were simply diving on the bases. Simply one in which you use your other arm to make a great back handed catch at the same time. Talented little thing aren’t you.

I’m so serious about wanting you to do this correctly that I’d like you to watch the video first before you proceed with trying a backhanded dive. Watch Savannah and Graham demonstrate it as many times as you need in order to see that you can in fact make the catch while extending your throwing hand. After you think you have it simply prop your !Pad up with something so that you can watch them and try the backhanded dive yourself. Remember as you are trying always start as low as you possibly can, and start already extended. Practice in a way that gives you the confidence to take it to the next level and start up in the air. Before next month you should be totally rocking both forward and side dives from your knees and in the air already leaning as far as you can.

Who knows if Savannah and Graham are up for it next month they just might demonstrate diving for the ball at a full run forwards, side ways and back ways. Oh you can think about not working hard this month, but don’t do it. For Catchers Caps & Base Coach Helmets and protection!


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Fastpitch Softball Player Search for Teams & Players!

Fastpitch softball is a sport. That means players and coaches need to play with and exhibit something called sportsmanship. While sportsmanship might be somewhat difficult to completely define, it’s easy to spot when someone that should have it – doesn’t. The player that calls her opponent names. The parent who berates the umpire. The coach who wants to win at all costs – regardless of how the other team feels so long as his team wins. Lately, unsportsmanlike conduct seems to be on the rise and has become the norm instead of the exception. Therefore, it’s important for the rest of us to know how to understand, identify, and try to avoid unsportsmanlike conduct.

Recently, my 12u travel team was in a few local tournaments. I’m sad to say that more than one coach exhibited unsportsmanlike conduct, as did the players, and the players’ parents. You see, if the coach (who is the team’s leader) normally uses this behavior, the players and their parents also tend to do so. That isn’t to say that everyone on the team had bad manners. Some may not realize the situation, or recognize that unsportsmanlike conduct is the norm on their team. Game after game, the coach “protects” his team by making sure that the umpire’s calls are in his team’s favor. When this team comes across an umpire that won’t bend to the coach’s will, the umpire becomes the enemy and the team parents and even the players start yelling out things about the umpire.

Many games at the youth level are officiated by only one umpire. These umpires are the first to acknowledge that they can’t see everything. Many of these coaches use what I like to call “influential unsportsmanlike conduct,” which is when the other coach or team parents make the calls. They loudly let the umpire know when their player is safe and your player is out, and your player is always out if the play is close. Sometimes, umpires make the calls they can’t see by popular vote – whoever is loudest must have seen the play!

The game of softball is a game of honor. Rules are set out and well known before the game was even scheduled. Ground rules are established before the first pitch is thrown. However, some coaches think they can bend or even break the rules for their own benefit, sometimes to hide a coaching mistake they made! Coaches do not honor the game when they don’t honor the umpire, the opposing coach, or the opposing team. We had the occasion to ask Sue Enquist about competition and how she views her opponents. She said they are a bunch of shirts that are required to play the game. They are treated with respect as players and coaches. She said that each player on her team needs to compete against themselves and not view the other team as something bad. This is a great concept. Your opponent is playing to win the game just as you are. The players are (or should be) honorable. The coaches are (or should be) honorable. The game is to be honored. The other team is necessary so you can play the game.

Our team and organization always try to honor the game. We don’t argue with umpires. Our players don’t make fun of the other team or coaches. We don’t argue with the opposing team’s coaches, players, or parents. Our base coaches never call the play safe or out. We know the rules of the organization we are playing under. We know the local rules. If there are any doubts, we discuss them with the umpire to make sure we understand before play starts. When our girls cheer, they do it to support their teammates, not to be obnoxious to the other team. Even though certain organizations and umpires allow cheering through the pitcher’s windup, we don’t support that.

When we do come across teams and coaches exhibiting unsportsmanlike conduct, we never address it directly with the players, coaches, or parents. That’s not how this works. We address it with the umpire. Each manager is responsible for themselves, their players, and their players’ parents. Instead of getting into it with the other manager, we go straight to the umpire. We treat the situation like a court of law and try to minimize direct communication with the other team. After all they are only a bunch of shirts necessary to play the game. We shake hands and wish the other coaches and team captains good luck before the game, and shake hands and say “good game” afterwards. Any issues that come up during the game go through the umpire. They are the judge and jury of the softball field. Right or wrong, their decisions are usually final. They have the authority to stop unsportsmanlike conduct, you don’t – unless you decide to forfeit and leave the field.

Parents on the sidelines need to remember that it’s just a game and while there may be some championship or pool seeding resting on the outcome, the bottom line is that your child’s life will most likely not be significantly affected if they lose the game. Don’t shout at the other team or the umpire for a bad call. Good sportsmanship includes gracefully handling bad calls. Players should stay positive and acknowledge that the players on the other team have the same interests they do and may one day be their teammates instead of their opponents. At the end of the game, shake hands or high five every player and coach on the other team. Don’t try to hurt the other players’ hands by punching, slapping, or bending the fingers back (as has happened to us on more than one occasion). Umpires should remember that they too, are not always right and not show favoritism to one team over the other. There is nothing more discouraging to a young pitcher than to see her strike zone squeezed down to the size of a volleyball just because she’s the better pitcher or her team is winning. Coaches should not knowingly break any rules. Good sportsmanship is required of EVERY person involved in a game, from the players and coaches, to the umpires, and spectators. The easiest most portable Bunt Trainer on the market!

Success Is In The Little Things

Written By Stacie Mahoe

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Success Is In The Little Things

Excellence, success, we’re all after it. However, you won’t achieve it if you can’t do the little things right. Bruce Barton said, “Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.”

The funny thing about “little things” is they often become BIG things. So if you want to do big things right, like win games, or even championships, make sure you take care of the little things!

3 Reasons Why Little Things Matter

As mentioned before, little things often turn into big things, so never let them slide! Little things added up over time create BIG results, good or bad, depending on whether or not you take care of them, so make it a point to do them well.

You must walk before you can run. In other words, you can’t expect the big things to go well for you when you don’t start with the little things first. Do the little things right day in and day out and eventually you will find yourself doing the big things right too. However, it doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself. Start small, keep taking those baby steps, and eventually the big things will come.

Little things, that happen daily, give you the opportunity to make excellence a habit. Big things usually happen less frequently. So if you want to create the good habits necessary for success, the way to do that is through the little things that happen often. Success comes through a series of baby steps taken over a long period of time, not by doing one or two big things every once in a while. Stop focusing so much on making big things happen. Be diligent about doing small things well over and over and over again.

Think about it. How are you doing on the little things? Do you make it a point to do them right? Or are you overlooking them in favor of “more important” things?

Fastpitch softball is simple… hit, run, score. Throw the ball. Catch the ball. But simple and easy are not the same thing! With so much to cover over the course of a season, with so much to teach, it’s very easy to let the little things slide. I challenge you, however, not to.

Here are 7 “little things” teams let slide far too often. I know they may not seem that important, but remember, little things become big things. Do them right!


Is your dugout neat and orderly? Or are bags and pieces of equipment thrown about leaving the dugout looking more like an obstacle course than a well kept space? There are several reasons a neat and orderly dugout is important. ..

–It makes it easy for your team to get in and out quick during innings –It’s just plain safer (you don’t need someone getting hurt because they tweaked their ankle on a ball or other pieces of wayward equipment laying on the ground)

–It means you’re taking good care of your equipment which means you’ll get to use it longer

–It shows you care about what you do and have pride in and respect for the game


If you see players walking on the field, ever, this is an area that can improve. You should see hustle in and out of the dugout. You should see hustle between practice stations. You should see hustle in and out of water breaks.

Hustle also means running through the bag, not to it. Finish with the best you have. Never stop short. Never let up. Never give up. Finish strong. This mindset is not only important for running, but in how you play the game.

Hustle keeps you in the game from beginning to end. Hustle shows you care about what you do and how much you WANT to be there. Hustle shows you’re willing to give your best even when it’s not required by someone else.

Hustle matters. Hustle wins games!


The use of mobile devices is so much more common now more than ever. However, a player’s need for it on the field has not increased one iota since back before mobile phones were common. Yet, players often stay attached to their device right up until the start of practice or game. Even while their teammates help set up, players are still focused on their phone! I’ve also seen players go in their bag to check their phone during/throughout a practice or game. There is really no need for this. There’s no reason players can’t put their phones away at least 10 minutes prior to start time and keep them away until after the team is dismissed for the day.


When I was in college, swearing was not allowed. When our local high school teams play on TV, coaches often remind them about their language. Players trying to get recruited often watch their tongue if scouts are in the stands. If it’s good enough for you do to when you want to be on your “best behavior” it’s good enough for EVERY day. Again, we’re talking about creating the right habits that will help you be successful when it matters most. This means practicing these habits daily vs expecting yourself to just do them right once, on the ONE occasion when it really matters. If it’s good enough for your most important day, it’s good enough for EVERY day. If swearing isn’t acceptable in front of the umpire or in front of your most important spectator, it’s not acceptable on the field at all.


From my experience, most leagues have the same appearance rules from game to game. Shirts must be tucked in, certain jewelry is not allowed, etc. Rules don’t change from week to week or game to game so players know exactly what’s expected of them. Therefore, there is no reason for games to be stopped because a player is improperly equipped.

If you’re a player trying to secure playing time, get this right without being told! If you can’t even bother to show up to the field the way you’re supposed to, why should the coach trust you to do what you’re supposed to do during the game? If you want your coach to trust you with bigger things, like playing time, make sure he or she can trust you with the little things, like showing up to the game properly dressed!

Plus, a neat appearance, like hustle, just shows that you care about and have pride in being a softball player!


This is a skill that translates easily into life. Coaches agree, if you’re on time you’re late. Showing up on time doesn’t mean you’re at the field when practice starts. It means you’re already ready to start training BEFORE practice starts. Your bag is put away, your equipment is in it’s proper place, your shoes are on your feet, your shoelaces are tied, and you’re ready to GO when the coach calls everyone up to start practice. Showing up on time allows you to get the most out of your training, minimizes distractions, and allows the team to get off to a good start each day.


Team yells are typically done at the start and at the end of a game or practice. Therefore, make it a point to always start well and end well.

Your “before” team yell should be your best, most enthusiastic yell. It sets the tone for your practice or game. If you were heading into the championship game, what would your yell be like? Do that every time. If you want to be a champion, you must train like one daily.

At the end of your game or practice, no matter what the outcome, no matter how good or bad the day went, no matter how tired or how energetic you feel, give a great team yell! Do it as if you just won the championship game. Don’t allow outside circumstances to affect how you do this simple task.

One of the biggest problems players and teams have is they allow less than ideal circumstances to affect how they perform. When things don’t go well, they don’t play well. Obviously this is a problem.

You can practice overcoming this starting with your team yell. Don’t allow how you feel at the beginning or end of a practice or a game affect how you do your yell. Make it great every time. Practice giving your best yell no matter what. It’s the first step in learning how to give your best when you play no matter what adversity comes your way. Your team yell gives you an opportunity to What about you? Where can you get better? What little thing can you be more excellent at today and every day? Get started now by choosing ONE thing and making a point to do it well every chance you get. To your ultimate success on and off the field.

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