Vivica Nappo pitches in the first inning. Idaho Sports only had one hit and two strike outs from her.
By ROSELYNN WAHTOMY
POCATELLO – The Chubbuck Girls 10U Fastpitch team Harris Ranch would have done their late sponsor proud by going undefeated this season.
Fort Hall Recreation and Norm Harris sponsored the team last year. Sadly, Norm passed away in September. He was an avid supporter of the girls and played baseball in his younger years. He resided on the reservation and got to know many in the community.
“If he could see this team play, this year, it’s amazing. I mean really, we’re so proud of every girl,” said Mikey Harris, Norm’s widow. “He just loved his little team.”
She explained the team was something he was concerned about when he got sick because he worried who would sponsor them this year. Mikey, along with Curtis and Tina Cutler decided to continue his legacy by sponsoring the team once again.
‘We’re so proud, we’ve been to every game,” she said.
The sponsors commended the coaches for their dedication to the team and all the work they’ve done with the girls.
The team consists of girls ranging from ages seven to 10 years old. They began their season at the end of May and are now playing in the end of season tournament.
The girls have made a substantial amount of improvement since last year. Most are returning players with the exception of three older girls who didn’t return. In their place they have three younger girls, who’ve had prior experience playing T-ball, a place where they learned the basics, said their coach Patty Johnson. The assistant coach is her sister, Pearl Johnson.
Patty said the girls are strong in their defensive playing skills and know what to do when the ball comes to them.
“It helps from them being the same team from the previous year and they listen really good,” she said. “They know what they’re doing and I trust them. They can get upset with themselves but they get over it.”
Pitching for the team is Vivica Nappo, daughter of Jeff and Oleta Nappo she says she likes pitching and started getting interested once she saw her older sister pitch. She also likes to hit and enjoys being around the girls. Patty said she is a strong player and knows how to control a game.
Ry’Esha Running Horse is shortstop she likes playing for Harris Ranch because she enjoys being with the other players.
Also liking to spend time with her teammates is catcher Kilynn Eldridge. She said being a catcher calls for focus.
Right fielder position is switched between Nina Kaiyou and Evin Broncho. Evan said her favorite part of playing is making it to home base. This is her first year playing.
Other players include Jenikka Foster playing first base. Bree Anderson plays second base. Karlese Walker is third baseman. Between first and second is Rian Pokibro. At center is Starlynn Running Horse behind second. Outfielder is BJ Farmer.
Patty said she wants the girls to continue playing as they grow up because a lot of them have the talent to do well.
“As long as my girls are playing I’ll coach, me and my sister, because if we don’t do it, nobody will,” she said.
Pearl agreed and enjoys coaching her daughters who also play on the team.