The Lady Cougars will host the 12th annual softball clinic on Saturday, Feb. 18.
This day is a time for young athletes to learn drills and gain experience as they seek to become better at basic softball skills.
The clinic will emphasize hitting, bunting, slapping, defensive skills and position play. Participants will receive group instruction and individual training the day of the clinic.
“The goal is to get them excited about softball and provide them with a solid foundation,” MVNU softball Head Coach Jeana Howald said.
For older athletes who are interested in playing at the collegiate level, the softball clinic is an opportunity to talk with coaches and current players as they look toward higher education.
The MVNU softball players will help the coaching staff instruct drills and work with the girls who attend.
“I think that it is important for our players to be involved because it forces them to think like coaches,” Howald said. “It makes them use what they know in a different way than they normally do.”
Sophomore Jenn Kurelic will help out with the clinic for the second year and looks forward to the experience.
“I am studying to be a teacher, so I really enjoy getting to see concepts click in the girls’ heads,” Kurelic said.
Kurelic hopes the clinic will encourage the participants to become better players and show them how fun college softball can be.
For Howald, the most rewarding part of the softball clinic does not come the day of the event but sometimes years later.
Howald loves to see girls who attend the clinic show interest and commit to playing for the Lady Cougars.
Karmen Huntsberger, Meghan May, Elizabeth Ritchie, Emily Ritchie, and Maddie Johnston are current MVNU softball players who attended the clinic before attending MVNU. They will each be helping on Feb. 18.
“Not too long ago I was in the participants’ shoes and I know how much I looked up to the college players,” Huntsberger said. “I hope I can do everything in my power to show them what our team is all about.”
For Huntsberger, attending the softball clinic as a high school junior was the deciding factor in committing to MVNU.
“I loved the coaches and the team members,” Huntsberger said. “Immediately after we left the camp I asked my mom to set up a school visit because I loved the camp and the atmosphere so much.”
This will be Huntsberger’s first year attending the camp as a Lady Cougar.
Howald said the day is a good way for her players to reach out to young athletes in the community.
“Whether they end up becoming an MVNU Cougar or not, their interest shows that our one day with them had a positive impact on their lives,” Howald said.
The softball clinic will be held at the Donoho Recreation Center in the Prince Student Union at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. It is $35. For athletes who are 12 and under, the clinic is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Athletes who are 13 to 18 will have their session from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.