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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kasey Gibson played in only 12 games as a reserve for the Lipscomb softball team in 2014. But, hey, she was a freshman on a veteran team featuring seven seniors.
Gibson watched and waited patiently. But she left for home in Churubusco, Indiana with one goal in mind for the summer.
“I wanted to play in some competitive women’s 18 and over tournaments.” Gibson said. “My main goal this summer was to work on softball as much as possible so that I can enter the fall of my sophomore year as a better player. I want to give myself the best opportunity to compete for a starting spot and help the team.”
Part of the plan was to play for a team featuring some of her former teammates in the northeast Indiana area. That didn’t work out, but another door opened when she was offered the opportunity to fill in a roster spot for the Indiana Slammers.
“The Indiana Slammers have the best women’s softball team in Indiana and play competitively against other teams made up of (NCAA) Division I players,” Gibson said. “After the first tournament with the Slammers I was given the opportunity to play with them for the rest of the season.”
Her teammates are from schools such as Louisville, DePaul, Illinois-Chicago, Northwestern, Indiana, and Western Kentucky.
According to team statistics posted on the web, Gibson has played in five games and is batting .400 with four hits in 10 at bats, including one double. She has walked twice, been hit by a pitch and has one sacrifice. She has stolen two bases, scored four runs and driven in a run.
A highlight of her season so far has been the opportunity to play against the Netherlands (Dutch) National Women’s Softball Team which spent several days in the Chicago area playing various teams.
“The team came to the Chicago area for three weeks in July to get some games in before they set their final roster,” Gibson said. “The Indiana Slammers Coach, Bob Zivich, has a lot of connections with the Chicago-area softball teams and was able to arrange a game with the Dutch team.”
The game was played at The Ballpark at Rosemont, in Rosemont, Illinois. It is the home stadium of a women’s professional softball team, the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League, which is based in Nashville.
“The stadium was fun to play in due to the size of it and the atmosphere surrounding it,” Gibson said. “I started and played left field and went one-for-three on the night (Editor’s note, the Slammers do not include exhibition games in their stats).”
The Slammers lost the game 6-5 in nine innings.
“The level of competition was high,” Gibson said. “The Dutch athletes were tough competitors.
“Playing against the Dutch team was a great experience and being able to succeed against a great team was a good confidence booster.”
The Slammers players were honored by the Dutch team after the game.
“They gave us a small gift and we took some pictures together and talked,” Gibson said. “The team was very friendly and the experience was like nothing I have ever done before in my softball career.”