Softball team competes at state tourney
For the first year of Brewton Little League softball, coach Will Ruzic said he truly believes it has been an absolute success.
“The girls involved this year have now set a foundation we can build on as the program continues to grow,” Ruzic said. “As we began our season, certainly some of our biggest fears were in the 9 and 10 year old division and whether they were going to be able to play by the new Little League rules, most notably the live pitching. We did not want to have a situation where the ball was not being put into play thus jeopardizing the girl’s ability to learn the defensive side of the game and overall boredom setting in. As coaches, we were fully prepared to step in with some sort of hybrid coach-pitch situation if we felt the need at some point.”
Ruzic said that was never brought up again once the girls took the field.
“They stepped up, did everything they were asked and went above and beyond everyone’s expectations,” he said. “From the first pitch to the last pitch they played with everything they had as we watched them all develop as pitchers, fielders, and hitters as the season progressed.
In the regular season we were able to fill three teams in the 9 and 10-year-old league and played a rotating schedule amongst ourselves as well as alternating games against East Brewton and Flomaton, who each had two teams.”
After the regular season was finished, Brewton had a 9-and 10-year-old all star team, which traveled to the state tournament in Phenix City.
Ruzic said this was quite a sacrifice on the girl’s part as they gave up most of their summer to practice in the South Alabama heat every day.
“Although we lost our first two games in the tournament, it was a tremendous learning opportunity for the girls and the experience will prove to be invaluable as our league continues to grow,” Ruzic said. “We knew we had to start somewhere this year and being able to play other programs that have been organized for many years gives these girls an opportunity to see what they are all capable of with a little hard work and dedication.”
Ruzic said not only were the girls rewarded, it was also a tremendous learning opportunity for us as coaches to learn more about other programs and what they have experienced so they can continue to make the changes necessary to insure the girls become the best players they can be as the program becomes more competitive.
“Our girls left everything they had on the field while playing with class and dignity. They truly represented Brewton well in everything they did,” Ruzic said.
Ruzic said he certainly wants to thank everyone involved for even making this possible this year. “Although Chip Peach came up with this idea, there were countless others who have supported it in many ways from the beginning to the end, and for that we say thank you,” Ruzic said. “But most importantly, I want to thank the organizations involved that truly made this happen. On very short notice, and in a year of very tight budgets, these organizations saw the need and desire to give these girls this opportunity and were able to come together to make it happen. So to the YMCA, the City of Brewton, Brewton Little League and the Board of Recreation we want to say a big thank you. We are proud of all the girls in the league this year and they can certainly take pride in knowing that they have started what will become a long lasting tradition in Brewton.”
(Editors note: This is the first of two softball articles and one summer coach pitch baseball team)