The process of pitcher development is a lengthy one – how long it will be depends entirely on the commitment and motivation of the pitchers themselves
Softball players start practicing pitching while they are still at the U10 level and at that age they participate in fastpitch competitions for their age group. They sharpen their skills as they grow and move from one age group to another always competing against players roughly about their age, until they reach the senior level and participate in women’s fastpitch leagues.
Since in Malta the only fastpitch softball competition is a senior one, the young pitchers of the Ghajnsielem Redcoats are asked to compete against players much older than them. They don’t have the luxury of facing pitchers their own age who are at about the same level of development as themselves. As a result the club has to accept the fact that for the young pitchers to gain experience they have to endure defeats. The 5-14 loss this Sunday at the hands of the Mellieha Curves in Mellieha should be considered as such.
Denise Xuereb, who turned 16 the other month, is a member of the young pitching staff of the Ghajnsielem Redcoats. Since this season the Club is participating with two teams in the MABS Women’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament, the regular starter for the Redcoats over the previous two seasons, Estelle Scicluna, who is also 16 years old, is playing for the second team of the club to allow both Denise and Yana Vella to pitch during competitive games. It is hoped that this will be an incentive for both players to put in the extra hours of practicing which are necessary for them to achieve the desired level. They are extremely lucky to have coach Tahli Moore to help them out.
The process of pitcher development is a lengthy one. How lengthy it will be depends entirely on the commitment and motivation of the pitchers themselves. The opportunity is there to be taken. The Ghajnsielem Redcoats have now faced each of the other three teams in the competition. Let’s hope that the performances continue to improve with each of the three remaining games of this tournament.