2013 Latest News
- ► 2013 (36)
- ► November (1)
- ► September (2)
- ► July (1)
- ► June (6)
- ► May (13)
- • Swartz Creek Signing Day
- • Hayley Cruthers - ABC 12 Athlete of the Week
- • Dragons Win 2nd Straight FML Championship!
- • Vote to Bring Softball & Baseball Back to the Olympics
- • Senior Day & Dragons Tourney
- • Dragons One Step Closer to Flint Metro League Championship
- • Dragons Split with Lake Orion
- • Dragons Sweep Clio
- • Middle School Teams
- • Unbelievable Comeback! Dragons Sweep Kearsley
- • Stars Tourney Scores
- • Creek and Clarkston Split
- • Dragons Win Both at Brandon
- ► April (11)
- • Dragons Sweep Lapeer East
- • 2013 Ruby Tuesday Give Back Success
- • Varsity 2-1 at Bay City Western Tourney
- • Carah Pletscher Commits to Oakland University
- • Varsity Wins Both vs Linden
- • Varsity Splits Home & Season Opener
- • Vine Contest
- • Ruby Tuesday Give Back
- • Brandon Games Cancelled
- • Clarkston Games Cancelled
- • Spring Clean Up
- ► March (2)
- ► 2012 (1)
- ► November (1)
2013 Latest News
Carah Pletscher Signs NLI
Congratulations to Carah Pletscher, who signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball for Oakland University Wednesday night at Total Sports in Wixom, Michigan. Several Finesse Fastpitch travel softball coaches, Swartz Creek coaches, friends and family were on hand to celebrate the signing.
Pictured above (left to right) Bill Black, Greg Cruthers, Rick Clolinger, Amy Messer and Dave Stamm
Videos & Pictures - Reinforcing Instructions
The high school softball players who have been attending the fall workouts have received a lot of instructions for the fundamentals of the game. I have a couple videos in an article about college recruiting advice for parents that I recently wrote on my Softball Journey web site that I'd like you to take a look at. Each of them are Skills Videos that helped each girl in their college recruiting process. They demonstrate many of the instructions I've given you this fall. Although we have not gone over first base or catching, the videos provide great examples of everything else we've been working on.
Below are the instructions and pictures from the videos mentioned above. Watch the videos on Softball Journey.
Watch Hayley's swing, especially those off the tee. The last swing off the tee is in slow motion and will show you everything I've shown you. No stride, wide stance, balanced, hands loaded with no negative hand movement or circular motions and kept inside during swing, power L at contact and following through high and over the shoulder to prevent rolling the wrists. We haven't implemented the body load yet, because it can cause dropping the hands too far (dipping) and pop-ups. First things first. The tee is so important that we will no longer do any batting practices without it. When used properly it helps correct problems and build muscle memory. It is not the number of repetitions, but the focus and quality of the swings that matters.
Watch Hayley's footwork in getting to the fly balls while judging them. Then watch how she gets to the ball and stops before the catch when possible in a position leaning forward limiting the number of steps necessary for the long throws. On balls she caught on the run, she first lines up her body and feet before throwing the ball. When she throws the ball she gets a crow hop and her arm comes over the top, pushes off hard with her back leg and bends over forward during the follow through (like a baseball pitcher), which ensures straight throws to the target. Throws to 2B are between the waist and shoulders in the circle we talk about. The throws home, especially the longer ones, are low 1 hops, so that the cut off could cut the ball if necessary and the catcher can easily field the long predictable hops instead of the ball short hopping her at her feet. Short hops are way harder to catch at any place on the field.
Jacquelyn & Sydney have their gloves out in front of them with palms up, knees bent, butts down, wide stance and balanced while creeping forward. They stay down on the ball and catch it out in front (the triangle). They limit their steps (sometimes no steps and other times quick shuffles), set their feet and shoulders, stay low, and push off hard from their back legs during the throws. There are a few times they use slot throws, which we have not practiced yet, but most of the throws are over the top. We will work on slot throws and throwing on the run after our accuracy becomes more consistent.
Sydney's plays at 1B show her getting to the bag first and not stretching before the throw. If you stretch before the throw towards the infielder who is throwing the ball to you, but the ball is offline to the right or left or high, then you will not be able to adjust and make the catch or even knock it down. Stretching too soon can also prevent you from getting off the bag for really bad throws. When Jacquelyn fields the double play ball at 2b, she turns her body and sets her feet with a quick pivot before making the throw. Sydney does the same thing from 1B in the video.
First Sydney is framing the ball, which pulls balls slightly off the plate back over the plate into the strike zone to help the umpire call the pitch a strike. She squeezes the ball tightly on every pitch. She blocks the ball in the semi-circle and pops up quickly with the ball in case the runner tries to advance. When throwing the ball down to 2B she gets off her calves before the pitch popping up with a quick pivot and knees bent then sets her shoulders and feet before making the over the top throw, which ensures it is straight to the bag.
The high school softball players from grades 9-12 are participating in the fall workouts these days. New Assistant Varsity Coach Greg Cruthers is conducting the workouts, which is teaching the girls the fundamentals of the game including hitting, defense, base running and the mental aspects of the game.
There was an after school meeting about the workouts last week in which all girls interested in playing softball for the school next spring were invited to attend for more information. Since the 3rd week of August the girls have been working on proper throwing mechanics, fielding footwork, hitting, bunting, base running and a whole lot more. The workouts will continue into late October as weather permits.
The calendar on the home page shows the days and times that the workouts are held on. You can also follow Swartz Creek Softball on Twitter (@CreekSoftball) for more updates. Even if you don't use Twitter there is a feed displayed on the home page under the calendar that shows the information.
For more details about the workouts you can contact Greg Cruthers.
Brookman & Cruthers Receive All-State Awards - Cruthers Plays in All-Star Game
On Wednesday, July 24th AJ Brookman & Hayley Cruthers received their All-State Awards at Michigan State University at the relatively new Secchia Stadium. The awards were presented after the Division 1 High School All-Star Game concluded in which Cruthers played for the White team.
Several Swartz Creek players and coaches attended the game to watch the ladies receive their awards and to see Cruthers play one last time before joining the Ball State Cardinal Softball team in a few weeks.
The games are structured to play 8 innings to allow the 14 members of the roster to get equal time in the field, while all players bat. Cruthers played mostly Shortstop and a couple innings in Right Field. She hit in the cleanup position and went 1-3 with a single and couple ground-outs. She also made a couple of plays in the field at shortstop and from the outfield. Her team lost 4-0.
It was like a travel team reunion for Cruthers, who had 3 of her Finesse Fastpitch 18u Gold/Premier teammates by her side (Mikey Kish - Allen Park (Madonna), Jacquelin Murphy - Mercy (Loyola), Kristina Zalewski - Saline (Michigan State)). Also on her team was former Finesse teammate Sydney Hasselbach - Clarkston (Ferris State). On the opposing team was Kayla Rebain - Plymouth (Madonna), another former Finesse teammate.
Other former and current Finesse teammates played in the Division 2 game that followed Cruthers game. Former teammate Bailey Darwin - Chelsea (Ferris State), current teammate Celeste Fidge - Ladywood (Toledo) who won Miss Softball as the position player this year, and Desiree Kuczynki - Trenton. In the Division 3 game former teammate Paige Altherr - Cabrini - (Michigan Dearborn).
There were many of her current and former teammates who did not play in any of the division's all-star games who were on hand to receive their All-State awards. Hanna Warren - Canton (Central Michigan), Jessie Mehr - South Lyon (Virginia Tech), Shelby Hard - Hartland (North Dakota), and Sienna Surber - Jackson. Most of the girls who played in the games arrived the day before for practices and to get to know each other, then stayed overnight in the dorms. According to Cruthers, "We had a lot of fun!"
Hayley Cruthers - 2013 MLive-Flint Journal Softball Player of the Year
Ross Maghielse | June 29, 2013 6:10 a.m.
FLINT, MI -- This spring, despite the seemingly never-ending frustration of poor weather, several Flint-area athletes still carved out spectacular seasons and helped their teams do the same. In selecting the MLive-Flint Journal Spring Athletes of the Year, staff reporters Ross Maghielse and Eric Woodyard broke down season stats, post-season awards, contacted coaches and rehashed notable moments from the spring to select the best of the best.
Softball: Hayley Cruthers, Swartz Creek, Senior -- The Ball State University signee ended her high school career with her name stamped on the top-20 list of 15 different individual categories of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s record book.
Cruthers led Swartz Creek to back-to-back Flint Metro League titles (2012, 2013) and a quarterfinal run last season for the first time in school history while garnering Division 1 First-Team All-State and unanimous All-Conference honors for the last two years.
She started at shortstop throughout her four-year career was picked as team captain for three of them. Her career batting average was .522 (256 for 490) but she batted .660 this year with 12 home runs.
Against Metro League teams, her average skyrocketed to .730 this season and she graduated at the top of the list in just about every career record in Swartz Creek history -- including home runs (31), slugging percentage (.993) and runs batted in (165).
“By far, she’s the best softball player to come out of Swartz Creek and I would almost say she’s also the best female athlete that we’ve ever had, but I don’t have the statistics from other sports to compare that,” said eighth-year Dragons coach Rick Clolinger. “She’s team-oriented and everything is about her team. It’s going to be different next year without her because she’s always been the anchor of our team.”