Trinity softball getting in shape for 2016 season

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 11, 2016

NATCHEZ — In her first year as Trinity Episcopal’s head softball coach, Fay Minor is teaching her young squad to love the game.

Literally, as her team ran laps at the Natchez-Adams Softball Complex, she would call to her players, who shouted in unison, “I love this game, coach.”

In her new team’s first two weeks of practice, Minor is taking conditioning seriously.

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“This is my first year, so I’m going to work with them,” Minor said. “I believe if you’re going to play the game, play it right. I’m going to get them in shape.”

In Wednesday morning’s practice, Minor arranged her team into two infield platoons and subbed players in and out as she called out which base to make the play.

Minor said fielding fundamentals will be key, especially since her team has limited varsity experience.

“Really, we just want to teach them the game and get them fundamentally sound,” Minor said. “I expect good things this year, but I’m ready for anything. It’s the first year for a lot of them.”

Trinity’s one senior is Jasmine Ivory, whotook reps and shortstop and second base and also caught a brief bullpen session Wednesday.

Ivory doesn’t yet know where on the diamond she’ll solidify her spot, but for now she’s prepared to play “a little bit of everything.”

“I want to help out as much as I can and help them get better by leading (younger players) vocally,” Ivory said.

Ivory said the team made up of several middle schoolers and ninth graders has a bright future, with plenty of years to grow and improve together.

One of those bright spots is Trinity sixth grader Addison Jackson, who took reps in the middle infield for Trinity, but Minor is most excited about what she can do for the Saints on the pitcher’s rubber.

“(Jackson) is going into the sixth grade and she’ll be pitching for a varsity team,” Minor said. “The distance is different, but she has a unique pitching style that you don’t see a whole lot. She’s been to a lot of pitching camps for about three or four years now, so she’s really all about pitching.”

Jackson’s unorthodox delivery incorporates a “ducking” technique, in which she quickly crouches in the middle of her windup before throwing her pitch. The hiccup in her delivery throws off the batters’ timing.

Jackson said she is eager to get her first taste of varsity hitting. Concerning expectations, she’s satisfied with a solid effort and gaining valuable experience.

“It’s exciting being the youngest one (on the team),” Jackson said. “(My expectations are) just to play my best.”

Trinity opens the season July 29 against cross-town rival Cathedral High School.