Placentia gets softball clinic from two of the best
Freshwater’s Stephen Mullaley and Placentia’s Jeremy O’Reilly were in Dunville last week to hold a free softball clinic for young athletes in the area. The athletes got a crash course in hitting, fielding and throwing from two of the best from this province.
The Bob Van Impe Stadium in Saskatoon, Sask., has a pretty strong connection to Newfoundland softball.
More specifically it has a connection to Placentia softball athletes.
Freshwater native Stephen Mullaley helped lead Team Canada to a 2015 ISF Men’s World Fastpitch championship at the same field last summer. It was one of two gold medals for the team.
Mullaley got hot at the plate and influenced plenty of good vibes amongst teammates during the tournament.
It led to success and now, four ball players from Placentia are hoping lightning strikes twice at the field and they can come away with a national title.
Brent Hatfield, Andrew Kelly, Joel Nash and Jordan Pomeroy were named to this province’s under-18 men’s ast pitch team heading to Saskatoon Aug. 9-14 for the under-18 Men’s Canadian Fastpitch Championships.
“It’ll be pretty cool to play on the same field where (Stephen) Mullaley played,” said Nash.
To say Placentia’s influence is a large on the roster may be an understatement. They make up a fourth of the team’s 13-man roster. Hatfield’s father Bill is also on the coaching staff.
He won a national title in the 70s and the younger Hatfield is hoping to repeat that accomplishment come August.
“It’d be cool to duplicate that on the same field,” said Hatfield.
Plenty of experience
This isn’t the first time these players have earned spots on a provincial team. Each have been on the provincial radar for the past couple of seasons.
In previous years, Kelly, Pomeroy and Hatfield have played together, while Pomeroy and Nash have also been on the same NL team before.
However, this’ll be the first time all four will be on the same roster. It’s something they discovered only a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s a lot better having the four of us there,” said Kelly.
It’s not the first time they’ve been on a softball field together. The foursome was a key part of Laval High’s AAA male softball provincial title last fall.
When they get playing time, the Placentia four will be spread around the field. Hatfield and Pomeroy are middle infielders by trade, while Kelly will man centerfield for Team NL.
Nash will either suit up behind the plate or get some time in at right field.
The four will spend the summer getting their reps in with their team at the intermediate league in St. John’s.
“It makes it easier (with all four) when it comes to travelling for the league,” said Nash.
Hanging out at the hotel is one thing with these tournaments. The bus rides, practices and time spent with your team is something all players look forward too.
The Placentia group expects to have a good time in Saskatoon. However, there is one thing they can all agree on when it comes to the tournament.
“All of that is pretty cool, but it’s the games that are always exciting,” said Pomeroy.
“Just getting on the added Kelly. field,”
Jeremy O’Reilly watches on as a attendee of a softball camp takes a swing at a ball.