Lady Tigers Fastpitch looking forward to first full season on new field
The Cleveland Heights High School Fastpitch Softball Team will open its first full season on its new field on March 29. The field was christened last April as then-Mayor Ed Kelley threw out the first pitch. Lead sponsors Motorcars Toyota and Whole Foods were among those who watched the team win the first game ever played on the new field. With first-year head coach Amanda Delagrange, the Lady Tigers finished the 2013 season with their first winning season in five years, and earned the right to host a playoff game.
The boosters are now moving on to the second phase of their plans for the program: mounting the scoreboard donated by the City of Cleveland Heights and adding permanent dugout covers, an announcer’s table and a sound system. The next phase will include installation of a batting cage and a tarp to protect the field. Fundraising has begun with the third annual iPad raffle. The winner will receive an iPad Air, valued at $499, donated by Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian.
Raffle tickets can be purchased from any softball player, at all athletic events or by mailing a check to Cleveland Heights Fastpitch Club, 2981 Lincoln Blvd., Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20, and the winner will be announced at the Heights High boys’ basketball game on Feb. 18.
Individuals can also support the team by making a tax-deductible contribution through the Reaching Heights website at www.reachingheights.org. When donating online, indicate “softball” in the purpose box.
Tiger Nation socks and ear-warmers are on sale at all Heights High boys’ basketball games, in the school athletic office and at Zagara’s Marketplace, 1940 Lee Road, on Feb. 15.
With the passage of a new ordinance allowing signage on the outfield fence to remain during the entire season, the team can sell advertising for the first time. “The city really came through on this. They realized the need to raise money to make athletic programs viable for our students,” said Jennifer Vinson, vice president of the boosters. The Baseball Boosters will combine efforts with the softball team to offer advertising on both fields. Any business interested in outfield fence advertising should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the field, Coach Delagrange's team returns eight key players, including the entire infield, while integrating new players into the lineup. The team competed in the Cleveland State Winter League and has been working out twice a week to get ready for its first full season at the corner of Goodnor Road and Washington Boulevard.
Larry Sollisch is president of the Heights Fastpitch Boosters Club.