The softball gets pitched slower in this game, but the Papermakers are still hitting it, catching it, throwing it and enjoying every moment of it.
“It’s like the worst change up you’ve ever seen,” said senior outfielder Rio Smith.
“People say it messes up your swing, but if you do it correctly, it works on your swing,” added senior shortstop Tori O’Neil. “The goal is the same. You’re trying to make contact.”
Slow pitch softball is catching on at Camas and at seven other high schools in Clark County. Camas head coach Ken Nidick said the purpose of adding this new sport is to get more female athletes out on the diamond representing their school.
“The girls are able to come out here and just play for the fun of it,” Nidick said. “We’re not playing for anything but Camas pride.”
The season runs through the second week of October. The top four teams from the league qualify for a district tournament.
A total of 28 Papermakers came to tryouts before school started. Camas is the only program in the league to have two teams.
When the Camas fast pitch players learned about the opportunity to play slow pitch in the fall, they made a commitment to help introduce this game to new girls.
“Fast pitch goes by so fast. You don’t get the chance to let it all sink in,” O’Neil said. “It’s good to get more time on the field than seniors have in the past.”
Smith enjoys the change of pace and seeing a lot of new and returning Papermakers playing ball while it’s warmer.
“This is what high school sports are all about. You don’t have to be the best. You just have to work hard,” Smith said. “I love the field, I love the girls, I love the game and I love the sport. We want to play as much as we can in this weather.”