10U softball revs up for nationals
By Scott Bellile
New London High School softball has proven itself to be a powerhouse with three consecutive WIAA State Softball appearances since 2013.
But now ball players are excelling at the preteen level, and that could be a good sign for New London High School five to eight years down the road.
The New London Girls Youth Softball Association’s 10-Under Class A team is preparing to play next week at the Amateur Softball Association’s (ASA) Northern Territory National Championships. They will face off against the best 10U teams in the Midwest July 29 through Aug. 2 in Rochester, Minnesota.
To get to nationals, New London’s 11-girl squad fought its way through the six-game Wisconsin Class A State Tournament in Watertown June 25-28 and pulled a 5-3 victory against state runner-up Wisconsin Lightning, from Salem.
“Boy, I tell you, they came together that weekend, and here we are,” New London 10U Head Coach Cris Kringel said.
This season will mark the team’s first trip to Class A nationals. Kringel said he switched his girls from Class B to Class A this year because Class B nationals will be held farther away in Missouri, plus he thought his players had a shot at Class A competition.
“Our pitching is very, very strong,” Kringel said. “We have very good hitters on our team. One of the strengths of our team is they all get along so good.”
Nationals will challenge the team, Kringel said. Class A opponents are often big-city club teams that find their stars through tryouts. But Kringel believes in his players who have trained since February and the supportive parents who encourage them to grow.
“It’s going to be a tough battle,” Kringel said. “These girls are energized, though.
“We just need to keep riding our good positive attitudes and just keep working,” Kringel said.