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Kevin Hieronymus

Softball Factory puts out softball 24/7

Playing softball 24/7 is Deidra Whightsil’s kind of weekend.

The Hall High School senior recently completed a select training session in Vero Beach, Fla., hosted by Softball Factory. She was one of 40 girls throughout the nation chosen to attend.

Her softball experience started with an exposure camp at Judson University in Elgin sponsored by Softball Factory where she learned about from Hall coach Pete Kasperski. The camp was going to be fun in itself, then she learned five players from the camp would be picked to attend the select training session in either Florida or Oklahoma.

“I knew for sure they weren’t going to pick me,” Whightsil said. “A few weeks later I got a package in the mail saying I had been picked. That was the most exciting thing ever. I of course chose Florida because I do loved the idea of being able to fly to a different state by myself to play softball with some of the most talented women in this country.”

She was one of just four girls from Illinois selected with 40 nationwide. From there it was all softball, with instruction from former Division I and National team players.

Whightsil reported on Nov. 7 for registration and meetings. Room check and lights out came at 10:30 p.m. The next day, they were all ready for business.

She didn’t even mind the early-morning wake-up call, helped by a few of her new little friends.

“We’d wake up early everyday to go out eat breakfast, then play softball till 10:30 at night. As tiring as it sounds it was amazing,” Whightsil said. “I met people from Minnesota, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York and many more states. I made so many new friends, and I even woke up with a few lizards in my room. It definitely got me out of bed quickly.”

After breakfast, the softball started with agilities and throwing progression. From there they worked on defensive and hitting work before lunch. They came back with more throwing progression before getting into hitting, base running and defensive work.

After dinner, they got in hitting work complete with video analysis.

On Saturday, it was more of the same with sessions for throwing, team defense and situational defense, bunting, situational hitting with base runners, Sunday was a shortened session, consisting of three hours of game simulation.

“They completely redid did my throw and showed me all the new techniques to hitting and fielding the ball correctly in the outfield,” Whightsil said. “So hopefully I can bring that back to my high school and ASA team this year and improve. It was totally worth all the sore muscles at the end.”

She has her own Softball Factory Player Page at http://members.softballfactory.com/player/82121/. Here is a link for more information on her softball experience: http://www.softballfactory.com/2013/11/05/2013-select-training-at-vero-beach/.

Rivalry vote: Don’t forget cast your vote for the Princeton-Kewanee football rivalry in the USA Today best rivalry contest. The Tigers and Boilers have been selected as the best in Illinois and now has moved on to regional competition. Visit www.contest.usatodayhss.com/rivalry to vote. Vote early and often. Voting continues through Dec. 10.

Washington strong: Todd Stevens says Chicago Bear kicker Robbie Gould and other members of the organization hung out with the Washington High School football team Wednesday. That is very cool. Stevens said the support the town of Washington has received since its devastating tornado has been overwhelming.

Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at khieronymus@bcrnews.com.