Beard, Lewis prepare for softball training camp
NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal Day School athletes Tali Beard and Marty Lewis are heading to the College World Series — sort of.
Beard, a sophomore, and Lewis, a freshman, have been selected to be a part of The College World Series Select (softball) Training in Oklahoma City, Okla., in which only a select few high school softball players were nominated to participate.
From May 29 to June 1, the two will learn what it takes to play on the collegiate level.
The camp gives high school softball players from around the nation a chance to train with the best coaches in the nation with the atmosphere of the Women’s NCAA College World Series being played on the same campus.
The duo attended the Softball Factory camp in Jackson last year, and had faith coaches from the camp would deem them good enough for the Select Training camp.
“I was so nervous,” Beard said.
Beard and Lewis were playing the waiting game as they anticipated getting good news from the Softball Factory.
“We were nervous if one would make it and the other didn’t,” Lewis said.
Lewis said she would’ve been sad if she had to go to Oklahoma City without her best friend, or if her friend went on without her.
But when Lewis heard the good news from her parents Friday that she was picked for the camp, she couldn’t wait to tell Beard, who was just as anxious to share the same news with her.
“I was like, ‘Thank God,’” Beard said with a chuckle.
With a few months to go before taking the big trip, Beard said they have a lot of training to do, and that is where Trinity head softball coach Miranda Doughty will come in.
“I’ll just be working with them,” Doughty said. “I’ll be putting in extra time and extra work with them.”
Doughty said she thinks the camp will be a real eye opener to the players about what college softball is really like, and she is hoping being able to attend the very games that the players hope to be playing in one day will give them the extra motivation to work harder for their goals during their high school careers.
“It will separate the ones that really do want to play,” Doughty said. “But for the ones that are serious about softball, they’ll see what it is really about. And they are young so they will have time to get better.”
Lewis and Beard have aspirations to play softball for LSU, and they said they are hoping to strengthen their weaknesses during this camp in order to get one step closer to their goals.
“I want to get better at everything,” Lewis said. “But definitely my batting.”
Beard is looking to improve certain aspects of her game as well.
“There is a pause in my throw, so I want a quicker release,” she said.
The two are now in basketball season and will go on to play tennis and run track in the spring while preparing for the softball tournament. But though there is a lot on their plates, they said they are willing to give it all they’ve got to end up playing in the College World Series instead of watching from the stands.