SilverStrikers are eager to get going
When Summit County’s SilverStrikers fast-pitch club softball team was created five years ago, the organization had talent but not much softball experience.
For head coach and founder Scott Chester, the goal is to get his players that quality softball experience, meaning as many at-bats, pitches, fly balls and stolen bases as can come with the crowded summer softball schedule.
This year’s SilverStrikers squad, composed of seven athletes from South Summit High School, four from Park City High School and one from Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, is young but has talent and experience, according to Chester.
"This is exciting because the majority of them have been playing together the last three to four years," he said. "Almost every girl has over 150 games of softball experience under their belts, which is huge."
The SilverStrikers kick-started the season earlier this Tuesday in a friendly matchup with a team from Wasatch County and emerged victorious with a 7-0 shutout.
That, Chester said, is just a small example of what the team can be. But in order for the group to live up to its ability, the team will have to discover consistency throughout a grueling summer.
"Out of the 12 girls we have, we just really field well and the experience level shows a lot during the game, defensively and offensively," he said.
Among the talent he mentioned is Thailer Lair-James, a sophomore at Park City High School next fall, who got on base five times on Tuesday. Park City pitchers Cass Chester and Casey Picillo will provide leadership on the mound, Chester said.
From South Summit, Chester said he expects big things out of Natalie Nichols, McKay Woolstenhulme and Katelyn Rogers. Also returning to the Strikers this year are leading batters from last summer, Dom Harry and Hailey Hardman.
"Top to bottom, there’s not a weakness in our lineup," he said. "Most of them can hit in many different lineups. It’s really coming to a head when these kids are learning how to play and win. We’re not winning tournaments right now, but we’re getting there."
On tap for the SilverStrikers this summer will be the Heat Stroker Tournament on June 22-23 in Kaysville. Following that, they’ll be a co-host of the Wasatch Invitational on June 29-30 as games will be played in Park City as well as Heber City. On July 12-14, they’ll be at the Firecracker Tournament in Salt Lake City before heading to the U-16 Triple Crown softball tournament in Reno, Nev., July 23-28.
Chester said he enjoys helping his athletes prepare for high school softball, because at the end of the day, it’s about how much experience his players can get during prime playing months in Summit County.
"The goal is to really get these girls exposed to another level of softball, to help them in their games, and not just from a physical standpoint, but mentally," he said, "so they can go back and infuse that game into their high school teams.
"What’s making it fun is all these girls get along; there are always laughs at practice and they all want to get better in softball. It’s great to have girls who are sponges for the game."
Follow the SilverStrikers this summer at http://www.facebook.com/SilverStrikers .
The Christian Center of Park City had a makeover last year, and its boutique felt it was time for one, too.