Fast-pitch softball coming soon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The popularity of fast-pitch softball among girls has risen exponentially in recent years, but the Miss-Lou area has been a bit slow in joining the party.

Mike Bowlin, of Sports Center, plans to change that.

Bowlin plans to start the Miss-Lou Fast-pitch softball league, a league for girls ages 10-18.

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Bowlin said it would be invaluable to girls on either side of the river to get a better handle on the fast-pitch game.

&8220;In Louisiana, they play fast-pitch all the way up,&8221; he said. &8220;If these girls want to have any chance of a scholarship in softball, it&8217;s going to have to come through fast-pitch. I live in Vidalia, and I run a couple of the leagues in Vidalia. I figured after the slow-pitch season was over, we could try this. I&8217;m trying to get the people in Natchez, too. Everybody around here just plays slow-pitch right now. I&8217;ve heard a lot of talk about people wanting fast-pitch. Well, here&8217;s the chance. It&8217;s time to step up.&8221;

Bowlin said this year would largely be a trial-run.

&8220;We&8217;re just getting started,&8221; he said. &8220;All the slow-pitch stuff is over, so we won&8217;t be interfering in that. I&8217;m just trying the get the word out right now. We hope to have 80 girls and 12 or 14 teams and see how it goes this year.&8221;

Susan Myers of Hometown Sports has agreed to help Bowlin with publicizing his league.

&8220;I&8217;m just somewhere you can come and sign up,&8221; she said. &8220;I know Michael is just trying to get something started. I told him I&8217;d put the forms here and see how it goes.&8221;

Bowlin plans to have four-team leagues in four age classes &8212; 10 & Under, 12 & Under, 14 & Under, and 18 & Under.

Bowlin said his ultimate goal was to see the recreation leagues in the area finally adopt fast-pitch softball.

&8220;(If this year goes well) We&8217;ll probably start earlier in July (next year),&8221; Bowlin said. &8220;They&8217;re both recreational programs, but hopefully we can continue to do this after slow-pitch is done. Hopefully we can eventually get it to where they&8217;re doing fast-pitch. That&8217;s what they play in school now, so they need to learn it.&8221;