• March 25Puppy chow sale at all lunches March 25-29 to support NHS.

  • March 22Pancake dinner at McDonald's to support the Robotics team Tuesday, March 26, 4 -7p.m.

  • March 21Jackson College visit for juniors and seniors, April 22, 9a.m.-1:30p.m.

Playing year round, fast pitch softball league hits into spring season

Schools from all around joins to play softball with the Pinckney League

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Playing year round, fast pitch softball league hits into spring season




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Sophomore Alexis Hightower first watches the pitcher, plants on her feet on the homebase, counts how many seconds it takes until the ball gets to the plate, and‒then‒swings at the good pitch. But, wait. Doesn’t softball begin outside after the snow melts?

Normally, it does, but Hightower began rounding bases ahead of the season when she joined the fast pitch 16U league, playing for the Pinckney team. There were not enough players on the 16 and under team. Since she is a good player, they asked her to try out.

“Over the summer, Don Lockhart called my mom and said the U18 Pinckney team needed help in a tournament,” Hightower said. “I went to the tournament, and when it was over they asked me to come try out for U16 that started in September.” She usually plays outfield right center and left field.

Her teammates travel from local communities like Pinckney, Britton, Manchester, Dexter and Stockbridge.

A year-round team, the team plays when it is the cold season on turf that seems like fake grass. The players wear their normal uniforms like what they play outside: sliding pants, long socks, sliding shorts, their jerseys. The only difference in uniforms is that when inside, they wear tennis shoes instead of metal cleats.

League play is fast pitch or fastball softball, which means, fast underhand with the pitcher winding her arm by spinning it around before releasing the ball at an upward angle and the ball speeds is at 50-60 mph.

On February 22, Hightower’s Pinckney team faced two Legacy teams in Howell, splitting the pair 6-3 and 0-13.

As she always does, Hightower warmed up for the games by throwing softballs and practicing hitting a little. That day she was pleased with her outfielding, grabbing some pop flys and throwing grounders.

Hightower noted that when the team plays well, they get along well. “That’s key,” she said.

Former teammate sophomore Hannah Lockhart said, “Some of the problems with a league team are that there are some teammates who are just mean, but some are not like that.” She thinks that in getting to know her teammates is essential. “Some girls made others feel fit in but some don’t. Just like within any team there is always that one person, usually the cause of it is a negative attitude,” she said.

This sort of winter experience that prepares Hightower for all that is ahead in the spring: caught pop flys, fast grounders, stronger hitting, quicker bat speeds and stronger relationships.

“I like playing with people,” Hightower said. “I like being able to build bounds.”


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Playing year round, fast pitch softball league hits into spring season