Glasco keeps up winning ways at Louisiana

Gerry Glasco

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

The train has just kept on roaring down the tracks in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The University of Louisiana softball program has been one of the top programs in all of college softball for the last three decades.

Not just one of the top mid-major programs. One of the top programs, period.

Gerry Glasco is just the fourth head coach in the program’s history, taking over in late 2017. His first three seasons in Lafayette have done nothing to change the perception of the program. In 2018, the Ragin’ Cajuns won 41 games. In 2019, they won 52 contests and won the Sun Belt championship. Both seasons, they qualified for the NCAA Regionals.

Ragin Cajuns
Ragin Cajuns
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Arizona State Looking to Recapture Consistent Greatness

AZ State Sun Devils Taylor Becerra, Morgan Howe, Skylar McCarty

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

Like everyone else, the Arizona State University softball program is easing back into organized team activities.

After COVID-19 brought sports and everyday life to a grinding halt, teams had to find new methods of staying together despite being physically apart.

While those were effective for some time, Arizona State head coach Trisha Ford is glad to see those familiar faces in person once again.

AZ State Sun Devils Nicole Chilson, Breanna Macha, Dale Ryndak, Brynley Steele
AZ State Sun Devils Nicole Chilson, Breanna Macha, Dale Ryndak, Brynley Steele
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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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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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Karen Weekly Holds Volunteers Accountable to Excellent Performance

University of Tennessee Softball Program

By Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

The state of Tennessee was a bit of a culture shock for Karen Weekly. Having grown up in the state of Washington and playing and coaching at Pacific Lutheran University, the move east was a bit of an adjustment.

Weekly and husband Ralph were hired as co-head softball coaches at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1997. After back-to-back NCAA regional appearances, they were hired in the same capacity at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2001.

After living in Chattanooga and then Knoxville for the last 23 years, Weekly has grown quite fond of her new home.

University of Tennessee Softball Program
University of Tennessee Softball Program
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Cahalan Displays Production Value Beyond Her Years

Kenleigh-Cahalan-2023-Utility-Thunderbolts-Roberson

By Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

Watching Kenleigh Cahalan play, it might seem as if she is a few years older than she actually is.

That’s intentional, because she tries to make it look that way.

“I just treat everything like I am one of the older ones and do my best,” she said. As an eighth-grader, Cahalan was pulled up to her high school’s varsity team at Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.). Early on that year, she established herself as the team’s primary third baseman and took a backseat to none in terms of production.

Kenleigh-Cahalan-2023-Utility-Thunderbolts-Roberson
Kenleigh-Cahalan-2023-Utility-Thunderbolts-Roberson
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Arizona Remains Grounded in the Fundamentals

University of Arizona Wildcats

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

Five consecutive NCAA Super Regional berths left the University of Arizona softball program wanting more.

That’s as great a testament as any as to what head coach Mike Candrea has created in Tucson over the last 35 years. The bar has been set so high that seasons ending in the Super Regionals from 2014-18 had the program still yearning to take the next step and return to the Women’s College World Series despite seasons that would seem like a mere pipe dream for the majority of programs across the nation.

University of Arizona Wildcats
University of Arizona Wildcats led by Coach Mike Candrea
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Ella Parker: Victory Through Versatility

Ella Parker 2023 Batbusters Stith

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

Don’t put Ella Parker’s game in a box.

She wants to be known for far more than just one skill or attribute. She’s not just a pitcher. She’s not just a hitter. She wants to be able to do it all.

“I want to be as versatile as I can be and as helpful as I can be,” Parker said

Ella Parker 2023 OC Batbusters Stith
Ella Parker 2023 OC Batbusters Stith
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EC Bullets 25 Years Strong

EC Bullets Greg Schnute

By Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

Greg Schnute knew if the Southeastern Conference added fastpitch softball to its list of athletic offerings, the sport would grow rapidly at not just the college level, but the levels below as well.

He was correct. All in the span of a few years in the mid-1990s, the Summer Olympics featured softball, the SEC adopted softball and the state of Georgia transitioned from slow pitch to fastpitch at the high school level.

EC Bullets Elite 50 Pitcher
EC Bullets Sensing during an Elite 50 game on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at Wilson Morgan Park in Decatur. Photo by Kyle Parmley.
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