Drew turns softball skills into memorable summer

Olivia Drew was crying, and her mother, Brittany Drew, was screaming.

They’d just found out that 10-year-old was chosen to represent the Atlantic Region 9u national team in the fourth annual USSSA All American Fastpitch Softball Games this summer at the Space Coast Complex in Viera, Florida  on July 30 – Aug. 4.

Drew tried out in Georgia with students from the other regions that included the Far West, Northwest, Midwest, Central, Great Lakes, Southeast and Northeast.

“I was shocked because I didn’t think I did that well, I could do better,” the rising Conway Elementary School fifth-grader said.

Drew is what her mother called a ‘utility player,’ which means she can play any position. However, she made the national team as an outfielder.

Brittany Drew teaches math at Carolina Forest High School, and until she resigned this year, coached volleyball there for 15 years.

“She watched me play softball, and she hung out with me in the dugout when she was a baby,” Brittany Drew said about how her daughter got interested in the sport.

And when the pre-teen talks about it, it’s apparent that she’s hooked.

She has two or three official practices each week, but her mother said Drew practices just about every day.

“Practice is how you get good,” the younger Drew said. “People think this will be way too hard, but all you have to do is practice. I got better by practicing.

“When I go to a tournament, I’m used to it because I practiced.”

The trick, Olivia Drew said, is, “You have to wait until it’s a good pitch right down the middle and then swing. Getting the timing is the hardest part.”

She explained that a slow pitch ball is about 30 mph, and ideally, a fast pitch ball is about 50 mph.

Fastpitch, she said, is fast because the pitchers swing their arms, while slow pitchers pitch underhand, and more slowly.

“In fastpitch, the ball comes in straight.”

This summer, Drew will play with the Conway Recreation Center, and for the Diamond Queens out of Loris which is a 10u travel team.

“I’ve been into this since I was 3-year-old, and my Mom did it before I was even alive so I’m following in her footsteps,” she said.

Photo submitted

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