The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 15, 2014

Jon Gerardi's h.s. softball column: Offseason does wonders for Batman's game

When Taylor Batman's sophomore season began, Milton coach Bill Keefer had a conversation with her and asked her who she thought was going to be the Black Panthers' pitcher the next season.

Of course, Batman responded that she wanted to be the one in the circle. Unfortunately, one little problem was that Batman didn't exactly have any varsity pitching experience prior to that.

For two seasons, Batman watched Milton standout pitcher Kristi Weaver throw, and while she may have learned a handful of things from the current Lycoming College pitcher, she still didn't have any experience in the circle against high school players.

No high school pitching, no summer ball pitching in the Amateur Softball Association that following summer; nothing of the sort.

It wasn't until that fall after Weaver graduated in 2012 that Batman wanted to play on a fall league team to face actual batters and get some experience, but she couldn't get on any squads. So with the help of her teammate Bethany Brennan's father, Bill, Batman helped get an ASA team started during fall optional workouts.

While that team, the River Valley Valkyries, wouldn't play until this past summer rolled around, the practices throughout the winter with the team helped Batman when her junior spring season began.

Both Batman and Keefer knew that she'd have to put in a lot of time pitching and work on it to continue Milton's line of phenomenal pitchers. And well, that hard work paid off.

"You can't wait until March of next year to decide you want to be the pitcher," Keefer said. "She worked hard all that year. She worked hard all this past year (too). She puts in a lot of time. It's good to see her get rewards for that, but she's put in a lot of time."

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