Take a short ride out to the OHS softball fields in the evening, and chances are you’ll see a gaggle of young girls running bases, perfecting their batting, and practicing the fundamentals of the game of softball. Youth girls from Oakdale and surrounding communities have been playing for the Oakdale Heat, a travel softball team based out of Oakdale.
This fall season has been a successful time for the 12U girls, who have been together for a year and recently finished the short fall season with a 4-1 record. They earned two runner-up gold NSA championships, one of which was lost by only one run. They played their hearts out to win two gold first place finishes, one being a USSSA tournament, and the second being their biggest win at the Fall WestPac Gold Championships. Winning the WestPac earned them a qualifying berth in a NSA tournament in Las Vegas next year. The 14U team, meanwhile, has been playing together for about three months and has been successful in two tournaments.
The team was started in the summer of 2015 by local resident Kevin Bricker. After a successful year as a volunteer recreation softball coach, Bricker found he truly enjoyed helping young girls develop their athletic skill and knowledge of the game of softball. As such, he pursued sponsors and donations to start what has now grown into a true organization. The Oakdale Heat originally began with a 12U team, a 14U team was added for the 2016 season, and the organization will soon be adding a 10U and an Elite 12U team. The team has been fortunate and thanks Oakdale High School for the use of their exceptional fields to accommodate team practices. Additionally, the team extends their gratitude to Head Softball Coach Larry Loger of Oakdale High, Coach Paul Hackbarth, and Coach Steve Drewrey for their dedication to the teams. The organization is also looking forward to the opening of a new indoor facility for indoor training in a few short weeks. More information can be found at www.oakdaleheat.com.