It’s show timePublished 5:26pm Friday, June 14, 2013
It’s show time for five area softball players as Washington’s Haley Hutchins and Southside’s Tia Hardy and Valarie Hodges will join forces with Northside’s Kendall Alligood and Mackensi Swain to compete at the 2013 Powerade State Games on the Region 1 softball team.
The Powerade State Games pits some of the states best softball players against one another, but more importantly offers those players a chance to showcase their talent against elite competition in front of numerous college scouts.
“I’d like the to see the girls use this as a stepping stone to get to the next level if they want to go there,” said Region 1 coach Jack Beirne, who is also Northside High School’s softball coach. “For some of them it’s a chance to feel it out. … For most of them it’s a chance to be seen by some college coaches.”
The recruiting process can be a process for those that are not familiar with it and that’s where Beirne, who’s daughter Amanda plays for Meredith College, tries to lend a helping hand.
“We learned a lot when our daughter Amanda got recruited,” Beirne said. “And we will sit down with the players as a group and go over how to make a letter to contact coaches. It’s not really the same as football where you might have scouts chasing your around, you have market yourself and we go into a lot of that with them. We tell them that if you really want to do this here are some of the steps that you need to consider in order to get there.”
The State Games take place at Wingate College and will begin on June 24 and will end on June 27.
Hutchins, Hodges, Hardy, Swain and Alligood are five of 15 girls on the Region 1 roster and Beirne said that each player is extremely talented.
“Haley played for us last year as a freshman and she did a great job for us. We didn’t know what to expect from her but she came on and did a great job pitching and did a great job with her bat. She was a great kid and very coachable,” Beirne said. “The girls from Southside, the only real experience I have with them is what we’ve seen on the field when they have played us and the way they played against us was great. They beat us twice this year and have done a good job. Tia had the game-winning hit against us in the regular season finale.
“Mackensi, a freshman, brought a lot of things to the table this year and not just with her play on the field but she has a very competitive attitude. She wants to do well.
“With Kendall, another freshman, it’s the same thing. She came in with a great attitude and they both have great knowledge of the game. We didn’t have to teach them a whole lot of the basics. They brought a lot of positive energy to our team and we are hoping they bring that to the State Games too.”