A new youth softball league created by a Parkland couple this past year just finished up their first season. With nearly double the interest than expected, the league is ready for year number two.
“We were playing in Coral Springs and I was coaching my daughters’ teams and I was like, ‘why don’t we have this in Parkland?’” said Brian Hierholzer, who along with his wife Meena started the league.
The season, which began in late January and ran through the beginning of May, had over 100 girls from beginners to experienced players, on nine different teams. They played against one another as well as against teams from Coconut Creek and Coral Springs.
Games are routinely played on the weekends and occasionally during the week. Each team tends to play two games in a row followed by a practice where girls can work on skills that are hard to teach during games.
With space limited to play, all games are held at Terramar Park on both Fields 3 and 5. Girls range from four and up until 12U – with hopes of increasing to 14U and beyond. Coaches tend to stay on the field with the younger ages to help assist, but when they turn 10, they begin to pitch on their own.
Although the season ended this past weekend, the team plans on hosting summer practices free of charge to any current players, or those interested in playing to help give them extra practices and pitching clinics. They also plan on starting their second season on August 17. The hope is to have as many 14 teams for the fall season.
The couple also owes their success to the contributions from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas softball team where Head Coach Sal Vacirca helped Brian and Meena set the league up. MSD players have volunteered their time before their own season began and worked with the girls at practices and in their games as pitchers. The girls have attended MSD varsity softball games as well, to learn from the best.
“We hope to continue our bond with the new league next year,” said Coach Vacirca, whose team will be playing in regionals beginning Wednesday, May 8 at West Broward at 4 p.m. “It’s great to have softball back in Parkland.”