Homer Mariner softball and Tsunami summer softball held their second annual College Coach Softball Skills Clinic for Kenai Peninsula players in grades seven through 12 at Karen Hornaday Park on July 29.
College coaches leading the clinic included Monica Harrison, head coach at Carnegie Mellon University; Chris Kuhlmeyer, head coach at University of Maryland; and Beth Krysiak, pitching coach at Columbia University and new head coach at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. The event was attended by 25 players from across the peninsula, who received instruction in all facets of the game, including what it would take to mentally increase their skills to play in the next levels.
Bill Bell, coach for Mariner girl’s softball, attended the Great Alaska Showcase skills camp in 2021 and gave an invitation to Harrison to come down to the peninsula.
“She was talking about how much she loved Anchorage and I suggested she visit a little more of the state. She brought her two friends with her last year and they decided to come back again. The weather really cooperated with us. We had rain on either side of the event but got a good day for the clinic,” Bell said.
The clinic was one day, focused on fast pitch, Bell said. The softball season doesn’t start until March 2024 but Bell will offer additional training in the winter that will be open to all girls interested in either the high school team or the summer softball club. There is no softball available at Homer Middle School at this time.
After providing instruction in Homer, the coaches headed to the Great Alaska Showcase in Anchorage to join 30 other college coaches to coach 250 players from across the state. The three-day skills camp took place Aug. 1-3 in Chugiak.