Olympic Coach Hosts Softball Hopefuls


Aspiring Rim country fast-pitch softball players have had the opportunity to hone their skills under the tutelage of the United States Olympic coach.

Tamara Crabdree, Karina Haught, Sierra Sommers, Sarah Donovan, Kyja Sommars and Lacy Sommars participated in University of Arizona coach Mike Candrea's fast-pitch camp June 9 to 13 at Embry Riddle in Prescott.

In addition to serving as the Wildcats head coach, Candrea was recently selected the U.S. Olympic coach.

U. of A. pitcher Leslie Wolfe also was on hand to assist Candrea.

About 200 young athletes from around the state attended the camp.

During their stay in Prescott, the Rim country campers were taught the fundamentals of softball including fielding, hitting, pitching, base running and catching.

For Crabdree, the sessions were both enjoyable and worthwhile.

"It was a lot of fun but we learned a lot too," she said. "We had to get up at 6:15 (a.m) and were really busy until lights out at 10 (p.m.)."

At the conclusion of the camp, Crabdree received the hitting award for her outstanding offensive efforts.

For Kyja Sommars, an aspiring varsity pitcher, the camp was the opportunity to improve her hurling skills.

"Kyja worked a lot with Leslie Wolfe," Crabdree said.

The girls say they believe the camp helped prepare them for earning playing positions on Payson High and Rim Country Middle School teams next season.

Sierra Sommers and Sarah Donovan will be sophomores next season. Crabdree and Kyja Sommars will be freshman at PHS. At RCMS, Haught and Lacy Sommars will be eighth graders.

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