Hempfield girls slow-pitch softball experiencing fast growth

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Monday, September 25, 2023 | 10:29 AM


Fast-pitch softball is popular for many girls throughout their middle and high school careers.

Even though the sport is well-liked by many, some girls prefer a different pace. As the community saw an increased interest in slow-pitch softball, a change was desired.

“We wanted to give the girls an opportunity to play a sport they like,” said Mike Palmiero, head coach and president of Hempfield Girls Slow Pitch Softball.

The slow-pitch league began in 2010 when Palmiero met Sherry Hall, who was involved with the Hempfield Athletic Association at the time. Contact information was exchanged, and the rest was history. From there on, word spread about the new slow-pitch softball league. What began as a one-team recreational game 13 years ago now has grown to eight teams, totaling 80 players in the league.

“The goal is to have slow-pitch softball as a state sport and a WPIAL sport,” Palmiero said.

Opening day for the fall season was Aug. 13 at Carbon Ball Field, located across from Carbon Volunteer Fire Department. During the event, players learned about important skills for the game, such as pitching accuracy, team throwing and speed baserunning. They even had a kids vs. coaches softball game.

This was the league’s first year with an official home field, which brought excitement for all.

“By having our own field it increases the value of the sport and the players,” Palmiero said.

The league now has teams beginning at the third-grade level and running through high school age. The high school-level teams officially are tied to Hempfield School District, which allows them to have a lettermen jacket and be featured in the yearbook as a player.

The league is in the works to provide the same for the younger teams. All teams are involved with WPISL, which allows them to compete with other local schools.

Palmiero is one of the coaches for the high school team, along with Tom Orndorff, Jason Snyder, Sean Hearn, Dave Vinkler, AJ Auckerman and Rusty Brown.

The high school team has 29 players, with 13 playing varsity and 16 junior varsity. The high school team is 2-2 this season.

With the league being newer, the organizers’ main goal was to see growth for all the teams, which has been continuing since the start.

“I am very proud to say that we achieved the goal of growing,” Palmiero said.

The fall season is competitive, and the spring season is recreational. Players compete only with other teams in the Greensburg area.

Sign-ups for the season are closed, but for future opportunities and other announcements, families can follow Hempfield High School Girls Slow Pitch Softball on Facebook. Aside from falling in the age range, players must attend Hempfield School District.

Additional information also can be found on the Hempfield Area School District website.

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