Girls of Summer: Fastpitch taking the field for Pelicans

RebellionThe Pennsylvania Rebellion is one of the newest teams in the National Pro Fastpitch professional softball league, but is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable.

The Washington, Pa. based team is hosting two games at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach on Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29 against the Texas-based Scrapyard Dawgs.

The team plays most of their home games at Consol Energy Park in Washington, but also tours the East Coast to gain exposure and inspire young players. When looking for potential locations, the Rebellion’s general manager Steven Zavacky knew that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were the perfect team with which to partner.

“You’re talking about one of the premiere vacation destinations on the eastern seaboard,” Zavacky said. “The Pelicans have a very good reputation. Knowing that there were tournaments going on down there this week and that the Pelicans were away, it was a natural fit. Everybody that I’ve dealt with with the Pelicans organization has been phenomenal. I think we’re going to be very successful.”

The idea for Zavacky to schedule Rebellion games in Myrtle Beach actually occurred at the end of 2014, but the dates between the two organizations did not match up. But after reaching out to the Pelicans prior to the 2016 season, the two days in late July worked perfectly.

“The number one thing is that we try and partner up with a Minor League facility that has a softball tournament being hosted in that community,” Zavacky said. “When we went to York, Lancaster, Allentown and Salisbury, they all had massive tournaments going on. There are a couple tournaments going on in Myrtle Beach while we’re there. It’s a natural thing for these young girls to want to come and see their heroes play.”

In their third year as an organization, the Rebellion team is not afraid to travel to get recognized. Myrtle Beach will be the fifth city they play a “home” game in, and the players have gotten used to playing softball games on a baseball diamond. Temporary fences will be set up in the outfield, and the infielders will have to play through the obstacle of the baseball mound in front of second base.

“I won’t say it’s an ideal situation, but it’s nothing off the wall,” said Zavacky.

The Rebellion’s home field is shared with the Washington Wild Things, an independent league professional baseball team that plays in the Frontier League. The Wild Things use a temporary mound, so that the Rebellion can play the majority of their home games with a level infield.

“We share the stadium,” Zavacky said. “It’s all artificial turf, even home plate, even the pitcher’s mound. The pitcher’s mound is very unique. It’s a fiber glass shell with six pieces, covered in artificial turf that we’re able to pick up and remove for the softball games.”

Despite pitching on an unfamiliar surface, most of the baseball pitchers warm up to it quickly.

“The pitchers are all very skeptical until they go out and throw on it one time,” noted Zavacky. “After they throw on it, they realize that they don’t have to worry about a hole. It’s a firm, solid landing surface and most of the pitcher really like it.”

Zavacky also noted that the difference between the Wild Things and Rebellion is that Rebellion softball is a major league sport. Zavacky and the coaches are responsible for the drafting process, player transactions as well as scouting.

“We follow a lot of college softball.,” he said. “The beauty of it now is the popularity that the college game has. You have all these games televised, whether it’s the Big Ten Network, ESPN, the SEC Network. The best softball in the world is in the SEC, and you get to see almost all of their games by subscription service. We scout, and we also have relationship with college coaches. It’s very similar to Major League Baseball, where we’re out scouring the college ranks to see who these best players are and then you put together your draft list and then prioritize by your positions of need.”

In addition to drafting, recruiting and player development, Zavacky and his staff are also responsible for finding sponsors as well as bringing fans into the ballpark and making sure they have a good experience.

“It’s all about building the brand – both the Rebellion brand and the NPF brand, while exposing as many young girls as possible to the sport.”

One of their signature promotions is simple, but also one that people will remember and appreciate.

“Starting at 8 o’clock, an hour after first pitch, we freshly bake cookies on site,” said Zavacky. “We have a local dairy that sponsors it. Anybody in the ballpark can come up behind home plate and get a cookie and a half pint of milk for a buck.”

Whether it’s the softball or the cookies, the Rebellion and NPF are beginning to master the art of entertainment, and the Pelicans couldn’t be more excited to help build the brand and bring professional softball to South Carolina for two games in late July.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

Comments

comments

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-Off

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-OffThe South Carolina men's basketball team has home court of [more]

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victory

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victoryThe Coastal Carolina football team (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt) will [more]

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point losses

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point lossesJaylen Shaw scored 17 points, but it was not enough [more]

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seed

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seedThe Sun Belt Conference announced its final weekly volleyball awards [more]

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tilt

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tiltCoastal Carolina men's soccer team gathered in the athletics field [more]

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strong

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strongSt. James High golfer Jordan White made her first hole-in-one [more]

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-Off

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-OffFresh off its first Final Four appearance, South Carolina travels [more]

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dip

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dipRiptides Racing team had a busy weekend with two squads [more]

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championships

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championshipsSixteen Coast  FA teams entered the Adidas Clash in Greensboro, [more]

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seed

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seedThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team clinched the number one overall [more]

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play Trojans

CCU suffers ninth straight defeat to big-play TrojansMarcus Jones returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a [more]

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney final

Late goal lifts Chanticleers into Sun Belt tourney finalFrandzty Pierrott scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute [more]

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semis

NMB holds off Crestwood, goes to Lower State semisThe North Myrtle Beach High had to battle to keep [more]

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower Richland

Seahawks stunned on final play by Lower RichlandShocking! That's the only word to describe Myrtle Beach's heartbreaking [more]

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second round

Class 5A: Tigers, Panthers defeated in second roundThis looked like it could be the year for Conway [more]

CCU men, women open seasons with big victories

CCU men, women open seasons with big victoriesCoastal Carolina University started the 2017-18 season in strong fashion [more]

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-South

Local trio of girls golfers playing in North-SouthA trio of Horry County senior golfers are closing out [more]

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it counts

Playoff Previews & Picks: Catch fire when it countsIt's not how you start, but how you finish. That [more]

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 schedule

CCU baseball announces 'ambitious' 2018 scheduleHome games versus eight 2017 NCAA Regional teams and facing [more]

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signees

Carolina Forest, St. James top local list of signeesCarolina Forest and St. James had four student-athletes sign college [more]

Pierrot leads seven Chants on All-Sun Belt honor roll

Pierrot leads seven Chants on All-Sun Belt honor rollThe Sun Belt Conference has released its 2017 All-Sun Belt [more]

Photo Gallery: Seahawks soar to Class 4A state title

Photo Gallery: Seahawks soar to Class 4A state titleThe third time was the charm for the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants blast past Panthers to claim conference crown

Chants blast past Panthers to claim conference crownIt took a little longer than expected, but the Coastal [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach