By Jarrod Harris
Times West Virginian
With the exception of East Fairmont High School, all area softball teams have been eliminated from the Class AA tournament.
So what’s that mean for the 70-75 girls who are finished with the regular high school softball season?
It’s time to play summer softball.
Being able to accommodate the needs of those young ladies is Linda Shoulders, who is the founder of the Marion County Girls Fast Pitch Softball Association (MCGFPSA).
The program has been running for 15 years, and a 16th season is set to begin June 1.
“We have several teams participate each year,” Shoulders said. “We have six teams in the upper division and four teams in the lower division.”
With both divisions included, there are approximately 150 athletes who lace up the cleats and get out the mitt to play some ball.
“In 1998, we broke off of the Marion County Parks and Recreation (Commission),” Shoulders said. “We try to get the kids who don’t make the cut for high school and then we target the high school girls, too. Every girl who is on North Marion’s softball team has played on our summer league during the past two years. We have East and West girls who have played in our league. So if they decide not to travel with their high school team, then they come back here and play with us.”
With the departure from MCPARC, Shoulders felt a need to help area softball while trying to increase the awareness of how beautiful the game is. By creating this awareness, Shoulders and her crew have tried something different this year. With the likes of lacrosse and soccer, interest has been fluctuating, so it’s time for her to bring the interest back into the county.
This led to the creation of the MCGFPSA summer softball camp.