By British Softball Federation, www.britishsoftball.org
The GB Women’s Softball Team has appointed Tina Plew-Whitlock, a former All-American and an experienced college coach, as their new pitching coach.
The team will be competing in the European Women’s Championship in Bollate, Italy from 25 June-1 July, and will need to finish in one of the medal places to qualify for next year’s World Championship in Japan. The weekend before the European Championship begins, the team will play in an invitational tournament organised by the French Baseball and Softball Federation.
Tina was chosen from numerous applicants after the position was publicly advertised earlier this spring. A former two-time All-American at South Carolina, Tina also played with briefly with Team USA and in the Women’s Professional Softball League before coaching at both the high school and college level.
She recently returned to South Carolina to serve as a volunteer assistant coach at the school where she still holds a number of career batting records.
Tina said, “I am very excited to be a part of the British softball programme. I love the game of fastpitch softball and was blessed to play in United States at the national team level. Coaching for the British Softball Federation means I can continue to represent something ‘more’ in our sport and coach high-caliber athletes. Representing the British will be an honour and privilege.
“I’m looking forward to achieving the goals of the British softball programme,” Tina added, “as well as working alongside Rachael Watkeys, the coaching staff and the players committed to being the best for Great Britain. I am grateful for this opportunity and I am ready to start working.”
Like all other coaches in British national team programmes, Tina is contributing her services on a voluntary basis.
GB Under-19 Women appointments
The GB Junior (Under-19) Women’s Team has also made two recent appointments to complete the staff for their trip to the WBSC Junior World Championship in Clearwater, Florida from 24-30 July.
Lindsey Meadows-Oosterveld has been appointed as the pitching coach for the team. Lindsey was a pitcher at Louisiana Tech University who then came to the Netherlands, where she has lived for more than a decade.
Lindsey has been a top pitcher for the Dutch National Team since obtaining Dutch citizenship, and has been a pitching coach with the Dutch Junior National Team, the Tex Town Tigers club team in Holland and at the Bollate and Nuoro Softball Clubs in Italy.
The Under-19s have also appointed Kirsten Leal as the team’s physiotherapist.
Kirsten, who was born in England, played for the GB Women’s Team from 2005-2010, including at two World and three European Championships, and then achieved a Doctorate in Physical Therapy with a focus on sports medicine and injury prevention. She currently works full-time as a physical therapist in California.
Because of her softball background and skills, Kirsten will be able to help the coaching staff during the tournament alongside her physio role.
Rachael Watkeys, Head Coach of both programmes, said: “We are pleased and excited to have all three new members who have joined the coaching staff of the Women and Under-19 teams. All three have played softball at the highest level and bring with them a wealth of experience that will certainly help both programmes. I am very much looking forward to working with them this summer and beyond.”