New fast-pitch program announced

MCDONALD, Pa. – A new fast-pitch softball program, targeting girls ages 9 to 15, is being launched in the greater McDonald area.

Filling a gap that has long existed, Kari Vance Cowden, 1995 Fort Cherry High School graduate, is hoping to create a bridge between community slow-pitch and high school fast-pitch teams.

“I’ve seen so many local girls be intimidated by high school fast-pitch even though our area slow-pitch programs are very strong,” she said. “Our girls are performing in the top of their leagues. It’s time we gave them a pathway to fast-pitch and take their skills to the next level.”

The Fort Cherry Youth Fast Pitch organization will serve the Fort Cherry School District and surrounding communities. Girls will be introduced to the fundamentals of fast-pitch softball at an appropriate age for skills development and confidence building as individuals and a team. There will be no try-outs. Every girl who signs up will play.

Three teams will be offered this spring:

10U, a cadet team for girls 9- and 10-years-old. Emphasis will be placed on the fundamentals of hitting and fielding. The positions of pitcher and catcher are introduced for girls wanting to learn the fundamentals to play them.

12U, a prep team for girls 12-years-old and younger. Emphasis will placed on honing the fundamentals and learning situation strategies. This is where the girls learn to bunt and steal bases. The players soon learn the importance of advancing runners and also how to keep them from advancing.

15U, a junior team for girls 15-years-old and younger. Emphasis will be placed on executing the fundamentals with power and furthering the knowledge of situation strategies. This is where the players hone their skills to prepare themselves for high school ball.

Registration is now open for the spring season.

Register online at or in person from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 1 at Fort Cherry Elementary Center, located at 10 Fort Cherry Road.

For information, visit the website or contact Cowden at (504) 559-2908.