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GOSHEN – The girls say it was the guys who first started talking trash.
Talking about how many home runs they were gonna hit, and how easy it was gonna be, North Oldham High School softball player Margot Ricks said. “No, they were talking trash,” NOHS baseball player Mike Gant said. The softball players were the ones distributing flyers at school reading “Girls rule, boys drool,” he said. But any trash-talking ceased as the girls got their game faces on and the boys watched pitcher Elizabeth Young warm up with her 60 mph underhand fast ball before the start of Saturday’s boys vs. girls – this one’s for all the bragging rights – fast pitch softball throwdown. To get an idea of Young’s pitching, consider that an ace high school baseball pitcher hurls about a 80 mph fast ball about 60 feet from mound to plate. A softball mound is only 40 feet from home plate. After a sizable lunge, a pitcher releases the ball from about 35 feet. At Young’s top speed of 60 miles per hour, the time between her release and the ball crossing the plate is about that of a 100 mph baseball. “Dude, this is gonna be ugly,” JV baseball coach Dave Mutchler warned. “That ball’s coming fast, dude.” But the ball is twice the size, and through the first couple innings of the game, few baseball players struck out. Swatting at the big yellow blur, many were able to touch some part of the ball, although no one was able to dribble the ball past the pitcher. Just ask Ryan Bruce how hard the ball was coming in. He went to the hospital for treatment of a bruise he got from one of Young’s pitches. But the boys reacted better to the pitching than the girls did. Pitcher Chris Tyler kept them off guard with his mix of balls rolled across the ground, lobbed over their head and 20 mph fast balls over the plate. The girls had time to fix their ponytails before swinging. His teammates jeeringly complimented him on his “dirty change-up.” The balls that were hit hard, the boys fielded deftly on the small field. In about the second or third time through the order, the boys’ bats started to catch up, getting out to a 4-0 lead. Then the promised home runs came – first, an inside the parker followed by the regular variety. After four innings, the score was 9-1. Lady Mustangs’ pitcher Bailey Campbell came in and threw change-ups that made the baseball players about fall over, followed by a fast ball that made coach Matt Walker kid a player, “She’s throwing on Monday. You’re swinging on Tuesday.” But the guys hit the ball much harder than anything the girls are used to seeing in normal games, NOHS head softball coach Eric Ballerstedt said. They ended up winning 14-6. The JV game was a different story. Ninth-grade pitcher Megan Neely and seventh grader Jessica Adell held the boys to four runs while the batters drew enough walks to help a five run effort and eliminate the chance of guys talking any more trash about softball. E-mail us about this story at: email@example.com