The Student News Site of Taipei American School




TAS transitions from slow-pitch softball to fast-pitch softball and baseball


Starting in the third athletic season of the the 2016-2017 school year, slow-pitch softball at TAS transitioned to fast-pitch softball for the girls and baseball for the boys. This decision applies to the junior varsity, varsity, and Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian School teams.
The IASAS board unanimously voted on this switch after a meeting between various athletic directors from each IASAS school, though, as varsity girls softball coach Ms. Caroline Fung says, TAS was initially not very keen on this decision because of the small size of the Upper Field.
Though the switch officially happened last year, TAS did not participate in the last year’s fast-pitch and baseball pre-IASAS exchange and IASAS tournaments. Instead, players and coaches used this time to train with the new playing style and play smaller matches with local schools in Taipei.

Fast-pitch softball

As a new coach last year, Ms. Fung focused on identifying players with strong foundation in pitching and catching and training them to adapt to the new playing style. Though there is not much difference in the training process, with fast-pitch softball, the coach is “getting the girls to swing faster” and perform “quicker decision-making.” Pitcher Emily Forden (‘19) agrees that the “bigger and faster range of movement required” in fast-pitch has made pitching and throwing a lot trickier.
Perhaps the biggest challenge going into this season, though, is the unknown competition from other IASAS schools. Being absent during the third season IASAS competitions last year, the TAS fast-pitch and baseball teams did not have the chance to see how other schools play in the new styles. Emily says, “We don’t know what to expect.”
The varsity girls are hoping that the pre-IASAS exchange weekend starting March 16 will allow them to recognize their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and adjust their training accordingly.


After playing a combined four years of varsity softball and baseball, David Mizukoshi (‘18) is most excited for the opportunity to go to IASAS baseball for the first time. David says, “This year, we can actually work for something.” For David, the biggest challenge for their team has been adjusting to the bigger field and the faster speed of the ball. Also, going to an IASAS tournament for the first time will not be easy for the players. “I think we are the only school that doesn’t really train during the off-season,” says David. “It’s going to be super hard but we’ll try our best.”
However, for the first time in his high school career, David will be on the field without his other four-year varsity softball and baseball counterpart  Joseph Pogue (‘18). During the second season, Joseph suffered a broken tibia and dislocated ankle with torn ligaments during the basketball bronze medal game. He says, “This was my last season, so I’m pretty sad because I was excited about playing with my brother Abe Pogue (‘20) and going to IASAS with him.”
The team still has around a month before their first IASAS tournament. Check out their games on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. at the Tianmu Baseball Stadium.
The boys and girls varsity teams will be travelling to International School of Bangkok from March 16-17 for pre-IASAS exchange and Jakarta Intercultural School from April 12-14 for the IASAS tournament.

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