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Springdale forms softball association

| Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

In past years, girls who wanted to play youth softball in Springdale had to join leagues out of the district.

But with the formation of the Springdale Softball Association, there is a more viable option.

Lori Hvrinak, who played softball at Plum High School, and Tom Fink, the charter holder of Alle-Kiski Softball, came up with the idea to form the league after concerns were raised in the community that youth softball was being neglected.

“Springdale has never had just a softball league for girls,” Hvrinak said. “They were always through divisions of Lower Valley and Springdale Baseball Association.

“I realized there were problems in the Springdale system. The girls weren't trained properly. I'm playing catch-up.” Hvrinak said she is training the players to the best of her ability.

Hvrinak will be joined by her husband, Mike, in coaching multiple teams in the league, which could include two 10-and-under teams, a 12-under, a 15-under and possibly an 8-under team.

According to Lori Hvrinak, there is enough interest to form the two 10-U teams. But even though there are interested players in the other age groups, many are involved in volleyball and cheerleading programs in the fall. Once those activities end, numbers should go up.

The league will play under Amateur Softball Association (ASA) rules and teams will compete against others in the Alle-Kiski Valley, including Freeport, Kiski Area, Highlands and Deer Lakes. Other areas such as Hampton and Indianola also are on the schedule.

A fall clinic now in progress and runs through Oct. 19 and is set up to teach players softball fundamentals — hitting, fielding, sliding and outfield play — and work on a pitching machine.

Practices are from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays at the field in Williams Street Park in Springdale Township.

A special practice for pitchers and catchers is held on Sundays at the Springdale Borough gym.

“It's about bringing the girls up to par, and training in the fundamentals,” Lori Hvrinak said.

Two scrimmages are scheduled for Oct. 5 and 12. The league continues to seek sponsors to help cover the cost of equipment.

D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.

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