Friday, March 6, 2015

Why youth softball could be right for your daughter

From page B1 | February 04, 2014 |

By Jennifer Harrison

I was a reluctant softball mom.

Soccer was my sport, which I played from age 5 through most of high school, and naturally I assumed my first born-daughter Grace would follow suit.

Six words changed all that …

“I’m signing Grace up for softball,” my husband declared.

Soccer was usurped.

I figured my then-kindergartner would give it a go with the bat and ball and we’d move on to scoring goals. Funny how your children prove you wrong.

Seven years and more than a dozen teams later, all three of my daughters play softball. My oldest is on a travel team, so alas, no time for soccer.

My girls’ intense love of the game came from the Davis Youth Softball Association and spring days spent on the field.

With the DYSA sign-up deadline here Saturday, I thought I’d share the top three things my children have gleaned from playing softball; why their fellow players love the sport; and, yes, why I love it too.

*Life lessons: “Always pay attention to everything, even if nothing is going on.”

Sage words from a 9-year old.

Alyssa Waterson is in her fifth season and that’s her approach to softball. It is a cerebral game. It can be a slow game, too. In our multi-tasking, tweeting, quick-fix world, I view this as a good thing.

Girls learn the magic of living in the moment while thinking in their cleats.

Should I swing at this pitch? Steal this base?

They also learn the power of patience.

“You don’t always get it right away; you have to keep on practicing to get the mechanics right,” explained Madison Rutherford, who as a 10-year old pitcher in her sixth season has practiced the art of perseverance. Her wise little sister Dakota added: “It takes time to develop in the sport.”

Then there’s the lesson of sportsmanship, explained by Veronica Roe, also 10, who’s played for half a decade.

“I’ve learned to win without bragging and lose without crying.”

Can we pass that one on to a few professional athletes?

* Girl power: Blame it on Jennie Finch, the blond, glitter-headband-wearing pitcher who won gold at the Olympics. “Throw like a girl” and “hit like a girl” have become mantras of sorts.

Softball is a safe place to be a powerful female. You can don the shimmery headband and get dirty sliding into home.

“What I like best about softball is getting up to bat. I want to be the biggest hitter,” said Isabella Contreras, age 11.

“It’s easy to learn and always get new skills,” explained Lauren Wilcox, 12. She added that those skills transfer to other areas too, like track and field.

Then there’s the power of team camaraderie.

“You can make new friends with girls on your team and since teams change each season, you make more friends each team you play for,” reasons Heather Breckner, age 10.

* Ball know-how: “That was a dropped third strike!” yelled my 8-year old as she watched a Major League Baseball game.

While a dropped third strike is rare in the big leagues, my daughter knew what was going on. Softball is a sport girls can play for years and watch for a lifetime.

Speaking of watching, Heather has the big picture in mind. When asked if she has her own daughter someday, would she want her to play softball?

Absolutely …

“I would like to be her coach or at least watch every one of her games.”

Heather’s own father, Mark, does just that — coaches his kids.

Give it a try! Davis Youth Softball sign-ups go until Saturday with registration taken and more information available at

It seems softball is stealing a lot of families’ hearts.

— Jennifer Harrison is a DYSA board member and a reporter/producer whose work has appeared on Discovery Health, HGTV, DIY Network, PBS and in various publications.



Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    ‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

    By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1

    Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    PSAs highlight area nonprofits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Peripheral neuropathy support offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Museum brick sales to end this month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Seniors serious about fitness

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Obama’s world is a dangerous place

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

    Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

    By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

    Here’s how to make college cheaper

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Dirty laundry on the company line

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B9



    Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

    By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women fall at UCR

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggie men clinch Big West crown

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12



    Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

    Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9



    Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12



    Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery





    Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10