Have you ever turned on ESPN or another sports channel and watched a women’s college softball game? If not, you might want get the popcorn ready, sit-down a spell and take in a couple of games this spring. Better yet, check out the schedule for one of our local college teams and go out to the ballpark. The talent on college fields is amazing and as many a Major League Baseball hitter discovered hitting a 90-mile an hour softball is not easy.
Girls and women’s softball programs are a treasure and we are fortunate to have the sport well represented at the colleges and universities that call Rochester home. We live in a community that embraces girl’s athletics, including recreation league, Little League, and high school softball programs.
On Friday, April 26, women’s collegiate softball programs nationwide will team up with Little League softball programs to promote the game and give young female athletes a chance to enjoy the game at its finest. Colleges and universities like University of California-Los Angeles, University of Michigan, Texas and the University of Arizona to name a few are involved. Locally, the University of Rochester softball team will join in “Little League Softball Day.”
It will be a day of “mutual appreciation” and a chance for collegiate softball teams to acknowledge the Little League programs that train and develop young players. It gives young softball players the opportunity to get a closer look at the sport they play, meet college players and take to the field when the college games are over. The day’s events will provide important insight for parents of the young softball players by highlighting the level of competition offering a window into inter-collegiate athletics, and the jump from high school to college. This is the seventh year that Little League and participating colleges and universities have joined together for the event.
The University of Rochester will be playing a doubleheader on April 26 against Alfred University at 3:30 p.m. at GLC Field, located at 200 Kendrick Road. After the games the young athletes from Little League are invited to take the field, meet the players and coaches, and ask questions about their sport. Little Leaguers need to wear their 2012 or 2013 uniform to participate
And while on the topic of collegiate sports, our community has a number of highly competitive, entertaining and educational sports teams at all levels of college play. Supporting the teams is important but it is also an opportunity to have young athletes watch and learn in person versus watching everything from afar amidst the bright lights, commentator analysis and repetitive commercials on television. Our local colleges and universities are happy to have the fan base, especially from the players, coaches and parents involved in youth sports and potentially students.
In addition to the regular season action in a multitude of sports, youth athletes and their families can spend the summer watching collegiate teams. The Rochester Ridgemen is a baseball team playing in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. The team is one of 11 in the state comprised of players with college eligibility and come from teams across the United States. This is high-caliber baseball and the players involved usually are eager to chat with youngsters about the sport they love and assist in teaching them proper fundamentals.
Page 2 of 2 - The team plays their games in Webster at the Basket Road Stadium located at 1600 Boulter Industrial Parkway and opens their season in early June. For the most part all games begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are free of charge.
Greg Kamp is a 23-year veteran of youth sports as a coach and administrator and is currently the President of Penfield Little League and sits on the board at the District level. He is the host of Youth Sports Now, a weekly radio show on WYSL-AM/FM and also runs Strategy First, his own public relations and marketing business.