10 Symptoms of the Pitcher’s Parent

Any combination of these symptoms means you could be the parent of a pitcher

  1.  Nausea, dizziness, loss of vision, diarrhea, stomach bleeding – these symptoms may become more intense later in the season or further into the bracket of the tournament
  2.  Severe fingernail loss – Parents of pitchers don’t always chew their fingernails.  But when they do, they prefer to chew them down to the nubs.
  3.  Uncontrolled pacing, gum chewing, sunflower seed eating, cigarette smoking or vaping – This is game day and you need to do something while worrying about your kid pitching hangover-2-1430838
  4.  You throw away nearly-new cleats because there’s a hole in the toe – You wish you knew a kid with the same size foot as your daughter’s, who pitches with the opposite hand.  That way you could split the cost of cleats.
  5. You have multiple bruises on your shins – Sometimes you can see the marks that the seams leave on your skin.  The bruising goes up when your child learns a new pitch.
  6. Consistent numbness in your left hand – Catching all those pitches has a side-effect.  But having feeling in your glove hand isn’t that important anyway.
  7. High cell phone data usage – You send frantic messages or emails to your child’s pitching coach to get analysis of what’s going wrong.  This chews up data like a teenager on that stupid lip-sync app that has thankfully become uncool.  worry-or-relief-1532767
  8. You feel your kid is responsible for winning or losing the game / You feel everyone else’s kid is responsible for winning or losing the game – Parents of pitchers can have one of these feelings or waffle back and forth between the two.  There’s no logic to it.  It’s purely emotional.
  9. You wish you could draw an ‘air’ strike zone for umpires – Why can’t they wear contact lenses with a rectangle to show the strike zone?
  10. You prefer sitting on a bucket instead of a chair – the lid is already shaped to your ass

Danielle O’Toole’s stunning recruiting experience and how she bounced back

College Softball Pitchers Share their Recruiting Stories

Pitching Coach Monica Fenton on Common Recruiting Questions


NPF Adds Canadian Team

The NPF has added a sixth team to the league, the latest featuring players from the Canadian National Softball Team.  The team will be based in Southern Illinois at Rent One Park in Marion, IL where the pro baseball team the Southern Illinois Miners play.

NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf made the announcement with Miners COO Mike Pinto and Softball Canada CEO High Mitchener who said the Canadian Softball Team had been looking for ways to play competitively.  “We are delighted to be announcing our entry into the NPF in 2019.  Commissioner Kempf has been incredibly helpful in setting up our partnership with the Miners organization and we can’t wait to get going next year,” he said.


Kempf celebrated the addition of the team to the league.  “To add an international team of the quality of Canada, currently ranked third in the world, and to add the operational excellence of the administration at Rent One Park, is a home run for all of us.”

The Canadian Wild will play a 50-game schedule in National Pro Fastpitch overall, facing off with some of the best players in the world, including current and former Olympians.

The addition of the Canadian team marks the third team from another country to join the league.  The Shougang Eagles have players from China.  Aussie Spirit’s roster is mostly filled with players from Australia.   The Cleveland Comets also have several players from China.

Preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo has brought teams from different parts of the world to the U.S. for the opportunity to face strong competition in the NPF, since teams have players who are top college athletes and could be on the USA Softball team.

Some have criticized the NPF for opening the league to international teams and making it a training ground for softball teams from foreign countries.  Commissioner has responded saying that this is a way to grow the game internationally.   The question for the NPF will be whether these teams or players will stay in the league after the Olympics in 2020.

Coach Lotief Sues for Retaliation, Breach of Contract, Defamation

University says his firing had nothing to do with Title IX complaints

Coach Mike Lotief has filed a lawsuit against the University of Louisiana and other leaders at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) Athletic Department for Title IX retaliation, defamation, discrimination, as well as other accusations.

A 99-page petition for damages was filed today in East Baton Rouge Louisiana.   Lotief’s attorney Jack McElligott said it took ten months to file the lawsuit because they wanted to get all the information possible.  “We worked to detail the facts in the most complete way that we could.  We’re confident in our due diligence that we have,” he said.

The suit seeks compensation for damages for failing to follow federal law protecting Lotief’s rights to register Title IX complaints.  He also accuses the defendants of not honoring his contract, defaming his personal reputation, ADA discrimination and failure to abide by his contract, among others.

It lists the defendants as the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, Dr. Joseph Savoie the President of ULL, Dr. Jessica Clark Leeger, the ULL Deputy Athletic Director, and Dr. Bryon Maggard, ULL Athletic Director.

In response to the suit, the University of Louisiana Lafayette issued a statement defending the school’s firing of Coach Lotief:

Michael Lotief’s termination was not related to gender equity claims or his disability. He was fired for:

  1. a documented physical and verbal attack of a female coworker, and
  2. use of sexually violent language toward and physical abuse of female student-athletes.

 As multiple victims came forward with complaints, a thorough investigation was conducted which revealed that Lotief subjected student-athletes and coworkers to a mentally and physically hostile environment. His reprehensible actions violated the University’s Prohibited Sexual Conduct and Violence Free Workplace policies.

Lotief’s complaint describes how leaders in the ULL Athletic Department were present at the team welcome back dinner in August 2017 and approved a bonus of $21,000 paid to Lotief on September 29, 2017.

In October, Coach Lotief complained to members of the ULL’s Athletic Department about unlawful discrimination against female athletes including:

  • The University’s refusal to provide equal medical treatment as the softball team did not have physicians specialized to their sport as the men
  • Refusal to maintain equitable playing facilities (Lotief was expected to tend to softball fields himself)
  • Refusal to hire and retain a trainer for women’s softball since May 2017
  • Refusal to hire and retain a physical trainer like men’s sports teams
  • Refusal to provide annual physical assessments like men’s sports teams
  • Refusal to allow equal access to the weight room and nutritional supplements to female student-athletes

The court document states that shortly afterwards, on October 6, 2017, Lotief was placed on Administrative Leave and locked out of his office.

The suit comes ten months after he was fired by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for allegedly subjecting student athletes to “violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault, creating a hostile learning and working environment.”

The petition describes one confrontation he had with an Deputy Athletic Director Nico Yantko:

“As Lotief spoke to Yantko about the severely disparate treatment of female athletics as compared to men’s athletics, Yantko became increasingly defensive and attempted to intimidate Lotief into submission by hitting Lotief in his ches with the back of his hand and moving in closer and closer towards Lotief as the conversation continued”

The suit is filed within a week of former ULL Softball players hiring a civil rights attorney to help them with their Title IX complaints against the University.    A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights stated that the department currently has “no open investigations at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette under Title IX.”






Former Ragin’ Cajuns Players Hire Attorney to Push Title IX Complaints

Nine former players of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Softball Team have hired a civil rights attorney to help with their complaints that the school violated Title IX and retaliated against them.

They have hired attorney Allison Jones from the Shreveport, LA  in hopes that the University will address the complaints filed earlier this year.   Their grievances were filed in April and May of this year to the U.S. Department of Educations Office of Civil Rights but there has been no response to those complaints which were filed in spring of this year.  They had not had previously hired an attorney for the matter.

Jones said her clients hope that the University of Louisiana will make changes to comply with the law.  “They want this university to be in compliance with Title IX, not necessarily for them at this point, but the young women that come behind them,” said Jones.  “I think they would like to tell their stories and for the administrators of the university to come meet them, to mediate to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else again.”

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Attorney representing the players, Allison Jones

As of the publishing of the article, University of Louisiana Lafayette Athletic Department had not responded to questions about the matter.

The complaints filed by the nine former Ragin’ Cajun softball players were not identical.  But they include:

  • Softball fields were not maintained at all compared to the fields maintained for the male athletes
  • Softball team was not provided athletic trainers
  • Players were not given proper medical insurance and care

The complaints submitted to the Department of Education that they asked former coach Mike Lotief to raise the concerns to the University, which he did in October of 2017.  By November 1, he was fired.  Some players claim:

  • The school retaliated against them and they were locked out of their locker rooms after appearing at a press conference in support of fired coach Mike Lotief
  • They were forced to stay at practice for seven hours only to do menial tasks by the new Head Coach Gerry Glasco and not allowed to practice and play

Jones said normally the university is required to respond within 60 days of the complaint being filed but she knows of no response from the ULL to the Office of Civil Rights.

A press release stated that nine players threaten legal action if changes are not made. Jones said this would entail a federal court case, forcing the university to comply but would not be the intended outcome. “My clients would really like that to be a last resort,” she said.

Check back for updates as Softball Nation will continue to follow new developments in this story.


Full text of the statement announcing the complaints and future legal action:

During the month of September 2017, Title IX violations were, once again, brought to the attention of the administration of the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

Now, those violations are being investigated by the Office of Civil Rights due to efforts by nine former female softball players to ensure compliance with the law.

In November 2017, just weeks after Coach Michael Lotief, one the nation’s most successful softball coaches, informed Administrators of the University of Louisiana Lafayette, that ongoing Title IX violations needed to be remedied, Coach Lotief was fired (for reasons which are now being challenged as pretextual for retaliation).
Following the firing of their coach, the female softball players of University of Louisiana were locked out of their locker room and left with uncertain futures. They have decided to fight back by filing complaints with the Office of Civil Rights for Title IX violations and by threatening litigation.

Nine female, softball players — Aleah Craighton, Alyssa Denham, Chelsea Lotief, Doni Sanders, Miranda Grotenhuis, Sarah Koeppen, Shae Schreckengost, Kimber Cortemelia, and Teryn Haley Pritchett — have filed complaints with the Office of Civil Rights alleging that they were deprived of appropriate trainers, comparable playing facilities, equipment and supplies as the same were provided to their similarly situated male athletes. They further allege that their coaches were denied payment, scholarships were not properly honored, and that, despite their complaints regarding Title IX violations, no appropriate remedial action was taken.

The players have now retained counsel, Allison A. Jones, of the law firm Downer, Jones, Marino & Wilhite, to pursue their claims. Ms. Jones, a well-known civil rights advocate for women, is also representing four female professors, Lise Anne Slatten, Lucy Henke, Patricia Lanier, and Gwen Fontenot, who have filed claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging sexual harassment and blatant gender discrimination by University of Louisiana – Lafayette.

Both the softball players and the female professors have stated that they are committed to taking all steps necessary to ensure compliance with the law. Counsel for both echoed that commitment:

“The University of Louisiana Lafayette has a shameful record of condoning gender discrimination — for both students and faculty. The University has consistently failed to adopt necessary policies to prevent gender discrimination, has failed to investigate complaints of gender discrimination and, instead, has chosen to engage in a modus operandi of retaliating against any complainant.

Coach Lotief’s case is just one example, and the University’s conduct has extended to the female softball players and female professors – all of whom have only asked that policies of the University simply comply with the law.

If University students are being asked to become agents of change, then my clients are prepared to lead the charge. Each of my clients is committed to seeing gender equity at University of Louisiana Lafayette become a fact.

The University’s Administration should: (i) ask serious questions of its Human Resource department and legal counsel; (ii) find a way to resolve all these conflicts as soon as possible; and (iii) immediately begin to support gender equity in all programs. The students and faculty deserve no less.

If the current Administration cannot accomplish gender equity, then perhaps a change in the Administration is required.”

What’s changed after the new rules

The new rules for NCAA Recruiting have completely changed interactions between college coaches and many travel ball coaches when it comes to prospective student athletes.   SDSU Assistant Coach Mia Longfellow gives a little glimpse at the difficulties college coaches face when they’re interested in player.



New Rules Help Yale, Ivy League Schools

Be Realistic About Scholarships

My Transition from Travel to College Softball

You Can Contact This NAIA Coach Anytime

Division 3 and NAIA Schools (which stands for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) don’t have the same recruiting restrictions as D1 or D2 schools.  So Head Softball Coach Chris Thompson says you can email her about softball no matter what your age.

In this video, Coach Thompson describes what it’s like to play for her at Menlo College.  She also describes the benefits of going to her school.

One-on-one with Mike White

“Texas wants the best softball players in the country”

After nearly a decade coaching at he University of Oregon, Mike White now represents the Longhorns in this summer’s highest profile collegiate coaching move.

We caught up with him at the 2018 PGF Nationals in Huntington Beach.  He talks about his new job, how hard it was to leave Oregon and expectations for players at University of Texas.

He also talks about the advantages of recruiting from the Lone Star State.

Oregon Coach Mike White: “We want the best of the best.”

Michelle Gascoigne on How Many Pitches You Need

Texas A&M’s Jo Evans: “Create an environment where they love playing the game.”


D3 College Profile: School in NYC!

“You have New York City at your fingertips. The resources are limitless.”

“You have New York City at your fingertips. The resources are limitless,” says NYU Softball Head Coach Now-Allah James.  Life in the big city is not for everyone.  But if you like the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple and all it has to offer, NYU could be a great school for you!

Academics is the focus of the program and NYU is a very selective school for grades and test scores.

Coach Now-Allah James also reminds people that the new rules haven’t really changed anything for recruiting on his team as Division 3 coaches are free to talk to students as they wish.

Be Realistic About Scholarships

Many people would love to have a “full-ride” scholarship to college.  But with large roster sizes and limited numbers of scholarships for each team, that can be difficult for most.

Boston College Assistant Softball Coach Megan Brown talks about how families should consider their own situation with scholarships and finances.


Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself before Your Daughter Plays Travel Ball

SDSU Recruit – “When I Walked on Campus, I knew this is where I wanted to be” 

See it, and then try it – UC Santa Barbara Coach on How to Watch Softball on TV