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18u softball team to hold tryouts

BY MATT FULLER - Peru Tribune Correspondent

Area 18u softball team Hoosier Hellcatz will be holding tryouts this Saturday, August 12 at West City Park. Tryouts will be held at Field One from 1-3 p.m.

The Hellcatz are coached by Jason Jacobs and Lloyd Kerns, who have coached travel as well as league softball at West City Park for years.

“We’re a young 18u team in our second year, so we’re looking for all positions. We’re very flexible position-wise, the girls will play a lot of positions. We just want kids who want to play. Just come with an open mind and come ready to play, that’s all I ask,” Kerns said of the tryouts.

The team plays under the USSSA banner, but can also play in NSA, ASA and other sanctioned softball tournaments. The cost to play is $650, which covers insurance, tournament entry fees, and uniforms.

“We’ll do several fund raisers, like last season’s Hit-a-Thon, and look for business sponsors as well,” said Jacobs. “We plan on playing two or three tournaments in the fall, four next summer, and a World Series in the summer if we qualify.”

Even if the Hellcatz don’t qualify for next summer’s World Series, coach Kerns mentioned the chance to play a National Tournament.

“With the World Series, the USSSA does a National Tournament, so there’s a possibility even if it’s not an earned World Series bid we could still do a National Tournament.”

As the majority of last season’s players are from Maconaquah, Peru, and Lewis Cass, carpooling has been a convenience for the team.

“Travel is not overly far, the furthest we went this year was Tell City and Santa Claus, Indiana, and the girls went to Holiday World following the tournament,” Jacobs said. “We plan on playing that tournament again, but everything else will be an hour to an hour and a half drive.

“It’s a real family atmosphere, we had one parent last year who organized pitch-in lunches between tournaments for the girls. It kept the cost down and created a nice family atmosphere.”

For the tryouts, girls should come with cleats, gloves, helmets and bats. Catchers should bring their own equipment if possible as well.

Anyone interested in joining the team who is unable to attend the tryout should contact coaches Jacobs and Kerns via the Hoosier Hellcatz Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HoosierHellcatz.

“We would like to see more local girls from Miami County trying out because that is where this team started, we know the people around here, and that is good for the family dynamic of this team,” Kerns said. “We aren’t just building softball players, we’re building young ladies so that when they go off to whatever is next for them they will be successful.”