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    Softball Hosts Youth Clinic
    Chelsea Hartsell
    Chelsea Hartsell

    May 5, 2011

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    EFLAND, N.C. - On Monday, April 25, NC State softball took time out of its busy mid-season schedule to travel to Efland, N.C. There, freshmen and new members of the Wolfpack squad, along with head Coach Lisa Navas and student coach Claudia Cooper, put on a clinic for young softball players in the Hillsborough Youth Association.

    The Hillsborough Youth Association contacted Navas months ago, requesting the Pack's help to instruct a group of new athletes about the game of softball. This spring is the first time the association is offering the sport.

    Though this time of year is extremely busy for the Pack, Navas explains that the NC State program desires to stay active in community events, even during season.

    "It is always difficult to put on a clinic in the spring during our season," says Navas. "It's even more difficult, however, to say no to a team of excited eight year olds."

    Once arriving in Efland, the Wolfpack spent two hours teaching basic softball fundamentals to the eager girls, handing them excellent one-on-one instruction. At the end of the evening, the Pack was excited to see the young players' improvement, even in such a brief time.

    "The greatest thing about being a part of a clinic like this is the feedback you receive from the parents," says Navas. "One young lady hit a ball off the pitching machine for the first time ever during the clinic, and the excitement that she showed reminded us why we coach and are blessed to play the game of softball."

    Coach Navas and the Wolfpack players present learned many things through this experience, especially how privileged they each are to be participating in the game of softball daily.

    Junior pitcher Jade Hennig describes her experience by saying, "I loved working with the girls. It is great to be able to give back to girls sports and show them that there are positive outlets out there for females. It was a lot of fun working with the eight year olds--they were really excited to learn, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience."

    "It was awesome being able to work with the young ladies from the clinic," says freshman catcher Chelsea Hartsell. "They were all super energetic, and I could feel their love for the game. It was great to watch how excited they were after they applied what we taught them, both offensively and defensively."

    Next season, the Wolfpack softball program hopes to further assist the Hillsborough Youth Association's softball league in whichever way possible, perhaps even conducting another clinic for the league's participants.

    NC State returns to action May 12-15 in Atlanta, Ga., for the 2011 ACC Championships. Seeding and game times will be announced next week, so stay tuned to for updates.



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