This year, the 2013 Hopewell Indians softball will be coached by the same coaching staff that coached the basketball team. Head coach will be Devin, while his assistants will remain the same from basketball as well. Everyone enjoyed the season so much during basketball, that we wanted to repeat it during softball season.
The season just kicked off last Wednesday when their first practice was held. They will practice once a week, until games begin sometime in July. The dates of those games have not yet been determined. This year the team consists of about twenty players. The fun thing about Special Olympic softball is that it is not only co-ed, but the coaches play in the games as well.
The games are slow pitch, with six innings per game. The same rules apply to this league as any other slow-pitch softball games: three strikes or four balls maximum per at bat, three outs per inning, ten players in the field, force outs, etc.
The players on Hopewell range from experienced players, to first-timers. The team wears actual softball pants, jerseys, socks, hats and cleats, just as any high school player would. Majority of the games that they play are not weekday games, but weekend double header games instead.
The strategies for position and batting orders that any other traditional baseball or softball coach uses, is used in Special Olympics softball. For example, your fastest runner leading off, with good hitters following, and your power hitters in the third through fifth patting positions, and everyone else following them. Ten players play the field at once, but there can be up to twelve people that bat. You may have one girl and one guy extra hitter for the team.
Hopewell's softball team is not as publicly known about as the basketball team. This is Devin's first year of coaching the team and he is hoping to change that. We're going to try and spread the word about the team so more people can come watch and our following crowd to away games can grow some hopefully. Those players try so hard and want to show to the whole world what they are capable of doing. We want more people to be at the games to support them, just like in basketball. Even to get the newspaper to be there taking pictures would make the players' seasons! Our goal this season is to get the word out about the team, and to improve on the skill levels of the players, so they can produce a winning season and boost their confidence levels!