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Charity softball homerun derby proves to be big hit

Staff Reporter

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 23:02

Katrina Keotting | The Houstonian

Katrina Keotting | The Houstonian

Participants struggled to make contact against Sam Houston State’s softball pitchers during the first annual softball homerun derby Saturday at Bearkat Softball Complex.   

Nineteen teams consisting of three to four contestants came out to participate and square off against the Bearkats’ strong pitching rotation.

Freshman pitcher Amber Neal sent the first teams back to the dugout whiffing at her fastball.

According to Neal, drawing fans to the field no matter how they do at the plate benefits the team.

“I think it will get us a bigger crowd out here and bring a lot of support for our team,” Neal said.

For some of the participants, facing game speed pitching was surprising.

 “I thought it was going to be soft toss but this is more fun,” SHSU student Parker Farley said. “I think it’s more competitive.”

Farley punched the first homerun with a towering shot over left center field. Farley would end his first round with two more homeruns giving his team, “The Foxy Four,” a comfortable lead.

“Not very many of these homerun derbies are against fast pitch pitchers they’re usually slow pitch, but we knew our field would hold probably the slow pitch so we decided we would go with our pitches.” Softball head coach Bob Brock said. 

Pitchers started to adjust their speed to allow an increase in homeruns. Assistant coach Adrian Gregory pitched against the top three teams to give her players’ arms rest.

 “Below Average,” consisted of SHSU fans Jeff Denny, Preston Guestavo, Stevyn Raverin and Maryah Cathey, would go on to win the team category.

Parker won the individual men’s category, and Maryah won the individual women’s category. 

Together the fundraiser collected close to $2,000 to fund softballs, bats and traveling expenses, said Brock.

According to Brock, the event gave his girls a chance to have fun and come together before the season gets underway.

“For the team it’s a really nice day of relaxing and being together and getting some team bonding,” Brock said.

SHSU softball will kick off the spring season with a tournament in Waco, TX on Feb. 7 and have their home opener against Texas A&M on Feb. 13 at 5p.m.

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