Slow to fast to slow again

Published 12:48 am Saturday, August 15, 2015

Slow-pitch softball is slowly beginning its season for MHSAA affiliated schools with preseason classic games beginning Saturday.

Although the official season doesn’t begin until Aug. 18, these games can count toward the team’s win-loss record for the season.

Warren Central’s head softball coach Dana McGiveny wants her team to bring a new attitude and have a winning season and make it past the second round of the MHSAA slow-pitch playoffs.

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“We really haven’t stopped,” McGiveny said. “We finished fast-pitch in April of last year and took a couple of weeks off. Then we had tryouts for this coming school year.”

On Saturday, McGiveny will be looking at how players perform in a specific batting order, if players are in the right place and the tweaks she needs to make defensively.

McGiveny lost three infielders to graduation and this will be a way for her to see what works best for a team before diving head first into the season.

“We’re trying to get kids in the right position and making sure what fits best as a team. The person you think may be your best short stop, you may have to play her somewhere else,” McGiveny said.

Warren Central’s softball staff got together to discuss expectations and goals for the season. They’ve attended coaching clinics to learn new techniques to make practice more fun and get the team involved.

For the month of June, the softball team played a fast-pitch schedule on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

In July, the team was off again during the mandatory dead week for athletes and came back the week after to work on softball fundamentals and continue conditioning.

Practice officially began the last week of July.

McGiveny has all but two players on the fast-pitch team who don’t play slow-pitch softball, but she encourages them to remain active to stay in-shape for the fast-pitch season.

“One of them plays volleyball and the other is a cheerleader. For the most part the core of my team is the same,” McGiveny said.

“To me it just gives them more time, gives them more game experience and that’s kind of what we’re try to build on.”

McGiveny’s main focus is on fundamentals, making sure her girls know the proper defensive techniques, and learning how to work better as a team and communicate.

The girls have come together and meshed well and McGiveny is excited to watch and see how far the team can go.

“As a coach that’s the most fun thing to me is just watching the kids come together as a team and play as a team and see how far their talent and ability as a group can take them.”

The team chemistry among the girls presents itself as a shared bond. McGiveny said “girls will be girls,”but the time spent helps build the dynamic.

“They meet and have breakfast together. There’s lots of differnt things they do together and it’s made them closer as a group.”