Forty-two girls had worked on their hitting, pitching and fielding at a clinic Thursday at Northside Middle School, but there was still one discipline to practice — baserunning.
So Eddie Loweth broke the girls up into two teams and sent half to home plate and half to second base. From there, each girl ran all the way around the bases before tagging the next person in line.
That was a fun way to finish a couple hours of softball on a hot and muggy afternoon. It was the second of six free clinics Loweth is conducting on Thursdays at the Northside diamond for girls in grade 6 and younger.
“A lot of these kids go to me for pitching or hitting or both, and I just thought it would be nice to offer something because our fastpitch program in the youth leagues right now is not real strong,” Loweth said. “So we’re trying to get more kids involved in it. We need to get our numbers up really bad.”
The son of longtime local fastpitch coach Ed Loweth, Eddie Loweth has been coaching softball himself for 20 years. He was an assistant coach at Columbus North for five years and now coaches the Columbus middle school program.
Eddie Loweth also started the Red Alert travel program and gives pitching and hitting lessons.
“There are kids that I work with on pitching or hitting, a travel coach will call me and say, ‘I’d like to pick up that girl. Is she a good defensive player?'” Eddie Loweth said. “If I just work with them on pitching and hitting, I really don’t know that, so I wanted to give some of those kids an opportunity, also.”
So he offered the free clinics. He had 38 girls show up last week when they began. This week, he had 42.
While most of the kids are from Columbus, some came from Jennings County, Seymour, Franklin and Shelbyville.
“I really like it,” said Lillian Wells, 9, of Shelbyville. “I like that I get a chance to show what I can do and just get to know other people. I just thought it would be fun to do it.”
Wells’ favorite part of the clinic was hitting. That also was the favorite part for Mackenzie Sigman, 12, of Columbus.
“They make sure you are knowing what you’re doing,” Sigman said. “If you mess up, they will correct you.”
The clinics will continue this coming Thursday, then will take a break the last week of June before returning for three weeks of July.
Grade 2 and younger are from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and grades 3 to 6 are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Girls should bring a hat, helmet and glove.
“I’m very pleased,” Eddie Loweth said. “It seems to be going well, so it’s maybe something that we’ll do every year.”
Veteran softball coach Eddie Loweth is conducting free softball clinics for girls on Thursdays at Northside Middle School. Grade 2 and younger will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and grades 3 to 6 will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The clinics focus on hitting, baserunning, pitching, fielding and throwing. Girls should bring a bat, helmet and glove.