For the third consecutive year, Mesa State College and coach Kristin Mort will bring a piece of its storied softball program back to Cortez on Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 12, with the MSC youth fastpitch softball camp at the Cortez Softball Complex.
The camp is in conjunction with Southwest Softball Association, which is the local softball youth little league.
Mort and her Mavericks assistant coaches, Christi Weiser and Cindy Cohn, will teach young softball players more advanced skills and techniques through multiple drills. Players will try to increase their knowledge level in areas of hitting, defense, pitching, catching and base running.
The pitching and catching camp is on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and will be run by Cohn, the MSC pitching coach, for youths aged 8 to 18. Softball players will learn skills that train them to play at a competitive level as a pitcher or catcher. Various drills will be conducted. Players must bring their own gear. Pitching and catching camp registration is $35.
The skills camps are on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon (ages 8 to 13) and 1 to 4 p.m. (ages 14 to 18). Coaches will demonstrate mechanical offensive and defensive drills. The swinging exercises include proper swing techniques for general batting, bunting and slapping through circuit training. Throwing motion, defensive skills, and positioning will be taught as well. Cost for the skills camp is $70.
With the help of Cortez Little League, we have built a solid fundamentals camp for 8- to 13-year-olds, 14- to 18-year olds, and pitchers and catchers, said Mort, who is in her 18th season as the MSC head coach. We have changed the format a little this year by splitting the camp into age divisions. In addition, the pitcher-catcher camp will be held Friday night. We are pleased to travel to Cortez to conduct this camp in efforts to accommodate and elevate level of interest in the sport of fastpitch (softball) in the area.
MSC travels around Colorado each summer conducting fastpitch softball camps, and SSA hopes to keep bringing the MSC Mavericks coaches back to Cortez annually.
Coach Mort and coach Cohn are just very passionate about softball, obviously, SSA treasurer Susan Likes said. They make it very fun for the kids. Normally on the last day, they do a slip n slide to teach them the fly (ball) properly. Theyre just really cool people. I think its really nice they come down here and do this for us. As long as theyll keep coming down and doing it, and the kids want them to come, well do it.
Around 30 to 40 softball players have turned out for the camp the past two years. Likes would like to see more people come to the camp, and strongly encourages young athletes to sign-up and play softball in the SSA.
Its just a really incredible opportunity. Theyre (MSC) coming to us. Id just like to see our organization grow in popularity and skill, Likes said. I would love for it to someday be that Cortez is the team that everybody wants to beat, that everybody is trying to gun for. This (camp) is the step to get there.
There are more than 200 softball players signed up in the SSA in four age divisions. The divisions are 6-under/T-ball, 9-under, 12-under and 16-under.
Its just a lot of fun. Its great to watch theses kids grow. Its really cool to watch coordination and skills grow, Likes said about SSA players.
Campers will need to bring a water bottle and water, softball mitt, batting gloves, bat, cleats, catchers gear (if applicable), sunscreen, hat and a learning attitude.
Forms and payment should be mailed to Southwest Softball Association, Attn: Mesa State College Softball Camp, P.O. Box 106 Cortez, CO. 81321. Make checks payable to Mesa State Softball Camp. Forms can be downloaded off of the SSA Web site at www.cortezsoftball.org.
For more information about the MSC fastpitch softball camp and the SSA, please call Likes at 759-5869.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at firstname.lastname@example.org.