Oregon Ducks on the Fast Track Under Lombardi’s Wing

Haley Cruse Oregon Ducks

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

Getting her team back on campus this fall has had a little added meaning for University of Oregon head coach Missy Lombardi.

After months of being forced to be apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after countless Zoom meeting and telephone calls, gathering again as a softball team has been really refreshing, the third-year head coach said.

“We’d all say there’s times that we’ve taken it for granted,” she said. “To get it taken away from us, we’ve always appreciated it but now we appreciate it even more and the little things that go along with it.”

Oregon Ducks Coach Melyssa Lombardi
Oregon Ducks Coach Melyssa (Missy) Lombardi
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Tigers For Life! Ohana Tigers Quarles Set Goals Beyond Softball

Ohana Tigers Softball Club

When Shawn Quarles, and his brother Joey, were getting into the travel softball world with their daughters, they learned quickly that it was a lot different from their experience in recreational softball.  

As the needs grew with the players and their development, they moved forward around 2007 to start a small softball organization called the Cerritos Franchise.  

Ohana Tigers Softball Club
https://www.ohanatigers.com/aboutusOhana Tigers Softball Club
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@ohanatigers

Alexa Rosales Leads By Example With All-Out Work And All-American Potential

Alexa Rosales Athletics Mercado Greg-Tidd

by Ryan Greenwood – Fastpitch Network

As a top recruit in the class of 2023, Alexa (Lex) Rosales has earned the respect of those in the Athletics Mercado softball organization from her hard work ethic. In the fall, she was moved to the Athletics Mercado – Greg/Tidd team to continue to work on her development.

“I would put Lex’s work ethic up against any player in the nation,” said Brian Tidd, coach for the Athletics Mercado – Greg/Tidd team. “Lex has played at the highest level throughout her career with our Academy and is a true leader that has set the highest standard of how we play this game.”

Alexa Rosales 2023 Utility Athletics Mercado Greg-Tidd
Alexa Rosales 2023 Utility Athletics Mercado Greg-Tidd
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Katie Flannery Draws Two Sport Inspiration from the Best

Katie Flannery 2023 Birmingham T-Bolts Roberson

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

How many high school student-athletes can say they have been fortunate enough to play with a top recruit in multiple sports at the same time?

The answer is likely a small number, but Katie Flannery is one of those players. On the softball field, she has played with Annabelle Widra, a dynamic two-way player who will soon suit up for the University of Michigan. On the hardwood, Flannery played with and looked up to Sarah Ashlee Barker, one of the best basketball players in the Southeast who is now at the University of Georgia.

Birmingham Thunderbolts Katie Flannery 3B
Birmingham Thunderbolts Katie Flannery 3B
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Tulsa Elite Inspires Trust from Members and Alumni

Tulsa Elite Softball Organization

by Ryan Greenwood

When he started the Tulsa Elite softball organization back in the fall of 2007 with only one 18U team, little did Jeff Filali realize that he would have over 300 college commits and alumni in just 10 years.

“It was just one 18U team the first two seasons,” said Filali.

The organization still calls Tulsa, Oklahoma the home base, but now also has teams in Arkansas and Kansas. 

Tulsa Elite Logo
Tulsa Elite Softball Organization Started by Jeff Filali in 2007
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Elevate One Blessed to Play

Elevate One Prospects

by Ryan Greenwood – Fastpitch Network

When J.J. Jimenez was watching the PGF Championship on TV with his daughter and the rest of the family, he told her one day you will play in that championship game.  Even though she was still young in her softball career, the idea he wanted to instill was to dream big.

“I was her hitting coach. I was her fielding coach,” said Jimenez. “I would do all her skill videos.”

Even though they were just above the Mexican border, but below the softball hotspot in the Orange County and San Diego area, they were starting to put teams together with those girls from the area that were interested in improving their softball skills.

Elevate One Elevate All
Elevate One Elevate All
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Kentucky: An Underdog No More

University of Kentucky Wildcats Head Coach Rachel Lawson

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

The University of Kentucky softball program is no longer a plucky underdog, capable of jumping up and surprising its opponents occasionally.

No, the Wildcats have lost that distinction. They advanced to the Women’s College World Series for the first time in 2014, have established themselves as a perennial Super Regional team and have finished second in the ridiculously competitive Southeastern Conference twice in the last four completed seasons.

University of Kentucky Wildcats Pitcher Grace Baalman
Grace Baalman. The University of Kentucky softball team beat South Carolina 7-5 on Friday, May 4, 2018, at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics
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Indiana Magic Gold Aiming for National Respect

Indiana Magic Gold National Team

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

For many years now, Indiana Magic Gold has been one of the top fastpitch softball club organizations in the Midwest.

But the people involved in the program are not content with that distinction. They are continuing to pursue improvements to keep moving the organization into the upper echelon of the best of the best, nationwide.

Indiana Magic Gold National Team
Indiana Magic Gold National Team
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Addie Mettler Preps for Competition She Hasn’t Seen Yet

Addie Mettler 2023 Firecrackers Rico-Weil

by Ryan Greenwood – Fastpitch Network

From the time she was young, Addison (Addie) Mettler has been around softball fields. All that time spent around the game helped her acquire a lot of working softball knowledge. That awareness combined with her motivational drive has made her into one of the top 2023 prospects.

“She thinks the game through incredibly well and she learns quickly from her mistakes,” said her dad and former head coach, Greg Mettler.

“The thought that someone out there in the world is working just as hard as me to get that same spot at a great college really motivates me to get better, because it instills competition in me,” stated Addie Mettler. “I know that is my spot and no one is going to take that from me, because I’m going to work ten times harder on the field and in the classroom to get it.”

Addie Mettler 2023 Firecrackers Rico-Weil
Addie Mettler 2023 Firecrackers Rico-Weil-batting
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Kayden Henry uses IQ and Skill to Paint the Future

Kayden Henry 2023

by Ryan Greenwood – Fastpitch Network

When Head Coach Scott Smith was considering moving Kayden Henry on to the Texas Bombers Gold 18U team of older players, he knew she had all the tools to flourish.

“She can do everything. That is rare to have all five tools. She has them all,” said Smith.

Being on a team loaded with talented 2021 and 2022 players headed to Power 5 schools, you would think she would get lost.  She is the only 2023 player on this team.

Kayden Henry 2023
Kayden Henry Texas Bombers Gold Smith
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