The U19 Central Energy softball team is very pleased with the way they've started the season.
The girls kicked off the season with four straight wins and outscored their opponents 49-4. Assistant coach Graham Shindle says they were able to get their bats going in their first double-header, picking up three home runs in their season debut. He adds they have a ton of talent on this squad.
"Six of our 12 players play with the Team Manitoba U19 team that will travel to the Canada Summer Games in August. Three of our returning players just finished college softball seasons," Shindle explains. "So, one of the advantages we have is we're a very talented team. We hit for power, I'd say we're about seven or eight hitters deep that can hit home runs."
The coach says the squad is very fast as they are great base runners, and he adds their pitching rotation is also top tier. Their three pitchers all have very impressive resumes as Sperling, Manitoba's Payton Doerksen pitched 90 innings in college this season, Swan Lake's own Olivia Goderis was a U17 Team Canada member in the past, and Alexa Guilford of Crystal City is a current Team Manitoba member.
Shindle says they have players from all over the central region of Manitoba, and notes because of that, they play home games in Portage, Winkler, and Crystal City this season.
While they have some high hopes for the season, Shindle says the main thing they worry about, as coaches, is getting these players opportunities to keep playing the game at a high level.
"The number one objective for us is to move players onto the next level of softball. When you have talented players, you feel obligated to do that," Shindle continues. "I think what we're the most proud of is, of our 12 players, ten of them will be moving on to play college softball or hockey next year. We're travelling to Kansas City to a tournament, that is all about getting eyes on those few players we have who haven't committed to play elsewhere."
Shindle notes these girls benefit in so many ways from playing sports, and he says it's his job to help them see that. He adds when each of the Energy players goes off to college, they instantly have a friend group to connect with because of sport.
The coach encourages people to check out a game when they're in your area.
"At every level, the games are fast, they're intense, the athletes are playing to win, and the coaches are coaching to win," Shindle explains. "It's a great way to spend a couple of hours, and it's quality softball."
For the U19 Central Energy's full schedule click here.