Softball training facility opens in Central Point

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – A new softball training facility has opened up in Central Point, filling a void that’s long been in the valley.

Southern Oregon Fastpitch opened their indoor facility just a few months back in June.

It features eight collapsible batting cages that, when folded back, reveal a 6,000-square-foot turf pad for fielding practice.

The new facility provides indoor practice options for not just Southern Oregon softball players, but also the public, an option the valley has never had.

“Having an option to do indoor practices, the need was definitely there in the valley, so it’s just a matter of getting the word out there saying hey we’re here, we’re available to the public and we also have team rates,” Southern Oregon Fastpitch owner and founder Becky Brackett said.

Brackett said some baseball teams in the area have already taken advantage of the public facility, but they are also open to football and soccer players and teams.

For Southern Oregon Fastpitch coach Jessica Morton, training young softball players in the valley is a full-circle opportunity for her.

Born and raised in Grants Pass, no one thought Morton had a chance to play at the next level, until she went and did it.

“I was told my whole life that getting a full-ride scholarship out of our area was impossible, and so I did it, and I went on to play for the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and it was the best experience of my life, and so my goal is to give these girls that opportunity,” Morton said.

The facility not only gives these players an indoor space to practice, but also a local team to play for here in the Rogue Valley.

“In order for these girls to play for a competitive club, they used to have to travel out of area: Portland or California,” Morton said. “Now, with us being established, now we’re able to get those girls locally to have a place to where they don’t have to travel the four hours away, they can come here and train and play.”

After players used to be forced to travel out of town to play, Southern Oregon Fastpitch now has players travel into the Rogue Valley from as far as Brookings, Klamath, and Yreka to play with their program and use their facility.

Local players said it’s nice to have a program here in the Rogue Valley to be able to meet girls from around the area.

“It’s been really nice to be able to come together with girls from different schools that we haven’t known and build those bonds and play with each other,” Southern Oregon Fastpitch 18u player Sydney Butterfield said.

“In the past few years, it’s grown a lot in popularity because it used to be really overlooked and not many people paid attention to it, but with a lot of posts being made about it, it’s really grown,” Sydney’s teammate Jayden Cote added.

On top of this brand-new facility, Southern Oregon Fastpitch is also hosting the biggest name in softball, Jocelyn Alo, for a clinic on September 15th and 16th.

You can find registration information here.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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