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Saturday April 19 2014 

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Life of a softball Dad.
Mar 5, 2014, 10:01 pm
She was once a 3 year old little girl with a new glove and ball. She put it on the wrong hand and probably even upside down. That didn't change her excitement. First dad rolled the ball. She bent down to get it and missed. That didn't change her excitement. Eventually, she would learn to stop the ball so she progressed to pop ups and playing catch with dad. She missed more than she caught and took... a few licks along the way. That didn't change her excitement. She eventually got a bat and a helmet. She stood on the wrong side occasionally and mixed her hands up when placing them on the bat. She missed more than she hit when dad pitched. But that didn't change her excitement. Park and Rec came calling and she tried her hand at the game. There were more losses than wins and with dad coaching a little more criticism and praise. That didn't change her excitement. Her friends came and went. Some enjoyed the game, some didn't. Some excelled and some didn't. That didn't change her excitement. Next came school ball, travel ball, and maybe even college. But through it all her excitement never changed. You see, she sees softball as a little girl playing catch with her dad in the yard. It wasn't just about the success of making the diving catch or hitting the game winning homer. It wasn't the pitching shutout or no hitter. Through all the highs and lows of the game, she just wants to be that little girl playing catch with her dad. It isn't about the big win or the demoralizing loss. It is about dad and daughter. It is about daddy's little girl being daddy's little girl again. She just wants to play catch.
    - A Facebook post

Meet the newest Dragons!
Feb 25, 2014, 5:26 pm

  I’m pleased to introduce the newest members of the Dragon family, Shelby Williams and Allison Lambert. Shelby is a force behind the plate, has a great attitude and swings a BIG bat. Allison brings accuracy and speed to the mound and also hits with power. I feel both will be important assets to the team. WELCOME LAMBERT AND WILLIAMS FAMILIES!!

A Word About Hustle
Nov 4, 2013, 4:16 pm

   Missed opportunities happen all the time in life, even in softball. Some opportunities are invisible except to the most prescient people. But many others can be exploited if we only have the conviction to "go for it." How many times in softball have you seen fielders defer to hitters - jog and then retrieve pop flies on one hop that could easily have been caught, or sometimes even give the ball "right of way," literally jogging alongside the hit ball until it slows down? You must remember that EVERY PLAY of EVERY GAME is an opportunity for EVERY PLAYER to make a contribution. Occasionally, players in game situations choose to alow line drives to one hop because they're afraid they'll botch the catch. You are encouraged to PUSH THE ENVELOPE DURING PRACTICE!!! Eventually, what was once unattainable will become routine.

The Golden Rules
Oct 25, 2013, 6:41 pm

Fastpitch Softball Base Running Tips

Here are some base running tips to keep in mind as a player.

Good baserunning is not only about being fast --being smart is just as important. You may not be the speediest player on the field, but you can be smart and therefore you can be a good base runner!
Touch every base.
Always know where the ball is.
Tag up on all foul balls.
When there is any doubt, slide into the next base.
Know the situation and anticipate the action.
Always check the defense for gaps and depth.
Know how many outs there are.
Know your signs. Make sure you look at your third base coach and pick up every sign.
As a batter, run on EVERY batted ball -- no matter what – until you are sure you hear the umpire or see one of the coaches signal foul. Never assume a ball is foul, a pop fly is caught, or a grounder is a sure out. Always put pressure on the defense by hauling down the line.
On strike three, take off for first until you are told the catcher held the ball and you are out. Only exception: there is a runner on first with fewer than two outs – the rule is you cannot advance to first in that case.
Think that EVERY singleyou hit is a double until the defense dictates otherwise. Be AGGRESSIVE.
Listen to your first base coach: after you’ve hit the ball, he will tell you whether to “run through”, “make your turn”, or “go two”.
If a high pop fly is dropped, you should be well on your way to 2nd base, or better yet, standing on 2nd base, not scrambling to get to 1st base.
When trying to beat out a throw at first, do not look at the ball. Focus on the base and on getting there as quickly as possible. Watching the fielder only slows you down.
When running through first, step on the outside part of the bag (the side on the foul line).
When running to first, do not slide or dive into first base (unless to avoid a tag/collision in a bad throw). It slows you down and exposes you to unnecessary injury.
Use each base to push off toward the next base.
Hit the bases on the inside corner with your right foot whenever possible (this is the ideal situation). However, hitting the base with your left foot in stride is better than trying to stutter step so that you can hit the base with your right foot.
Explode off the bag when you take your lead. Your first two steps should look the same whether you are taking a lead or stealing. Always get a quick jump, to the point of almost being off the base before the pitcher releases the ball. 
Know and understand “interference” and “obstruction”. As a runner, do not permit a fielder to get away with obstruction. Don’t hurt any opponent, but do not be afraid to make contact when you are sure that obstruction will be called.
Take your lead to the outfield side of the baseline (off 1st and 2nd).
When on 3rd base, take your lead in foul territory, return to the bag in fair territory.
When on second base, ground balls need to be to the right of the short stop (looking at the field from home plate) in order for you to advance automatically. Dont run into an out.
Listen to and watch your base coaches, pick up your 3rd base coach 2/3 of the way to 2nd base.
When there is a bunt, as a runner on base you must be sure the bunt is down and not popped up before dashing to the next base.
With fewer than two outs, you must make sure a line drive goes through the infield before you take off for the next base. Getting doubled off can mean the difference in winning or losing the game.
When you are on deck, it is your job to help the runner coming to the plate. Make sure the bat is out of the way. Tell them whether they need to slide or if they can stay up. Let them know which side of the plate to slide on.
At the end of a play, with the ball going back to thepitcher; do NOT turn your back to the ball. In fact, it’s a good idea never to take your eye off the ball when you’re off a base.
After any pick-off attempt, check to see if the outfielder was covering.
If the catcher comes out from behind the plate, start going back to the base. Dont just sit there and let her shorten the distance.
When youre on 3rd base with fewer than 2 outs, do NOT automatically break home on a ground ball to the left side (3rd baseman or short stop).
On a routine fly ball to the outfield with less than 2 outs, stay in an athletic stance. Dont just stand on the base after the catch. Perhaps even make a move off the base so that the outfielder has to make a sharp throw in. If they rush, if they make a mistake, you get the next bag. Don’t just stand there in an un-ready position and allow the outfielder to take their time and have an easy throw in.
Smart base runners are aware of the situation on fly balls to the outfield. They will know the number of outs, where the other runners are, the strength of the outfielder’s arm – they will also be able to assess the depth/location of the ball. Knowing this information will help them determine whether to go halfway to the next base or whether to tag up. Remember, as soon as the ball hits the fielder’s glove, a runner can tag – the fielder does not have to have full control of the ball.
ALWAYS look for opportunities to advance. If you see one start taking it ~ your coach will tell you if they want you to stay. After all, if you think you have a chance to make it to the next base, you certainly have enough time to come back if the coach doesnt agree. If the coach has to tell you to go before you go, youre probably too late. Most times, a base coachsgo!” should only be a confirmation of what you are already doing.
If you are caught in a rundown/pickle, try to “stay alive” as long as possible. This will increase the number of throws, which will increase the opportunities for the defense to make a mistake. It also will allow other base runners to move up.
Last but not least: baserunning begins in the dugout:
Before the game, observe your opponents in pre-game drills -- Are they left or right handed? Are they quick? Are their throws accurate? Who has a strong arm? Who doesnt? Who sets up their throw from the outfield?
Watch the catcher for quickness of release, arm strength, accuracy, and footwork.
Watch the pitcher warming up for any weaknesses or tendencies.
Check out the back stop. Is it close or far from the plate? Is it just a fence or is there some other type of material behind the catcher that makes the ball bounce back quickly?

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TN Dragons 14u Fastpitch Softball vs TBD
Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 7:00 am
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