Raw footage for Chicago Slices. 14 year-old GIRLS STEELER FASTPITCH SOFTBALL: Interview with coach DON PEARSON and father of one of the players RUSSELL PEDERSEN describes how the team is organized. COURTNEY WITVLIET demonstrates her pitches. Footage from a tournament game at Centennial Park in Orland Park.
00:00Copy video clip URL B-roll, close ups of girls fastpitch softball game in progress. Rockets versus Blue Angels. Pitcher pitches to several batters.
01:15Copy video clip URL B-roll, wide shots of the game.
01:40Copy video clip URL Close up of pitcher pitching and reacting. Close up b-roll of the catcher and infielder making a play.
03:04Copy video clip URL Break in video. Continued b-roll of the game. A batter at bat.
04:12Copy video clip URL B-roll of the pitcher. Umpire brushes home plate.
05:27Copy video clip URL B-roll of the Steelers softball team. Players are warming up.
06:46Copy video clip URL Videographer addresses one of the players and asks how she thinks the team will fare. Fine. What position do you play? Shortstop.
07:05Copy video clip URL B-roll, girls practice fielding ground balls from a pitching machine
07:45Copy video clip URL B-roll of batting practice, wide shots and close ups of girls bunting and hitting.
08:50Copy video clip URL Russel Pedersen, whose daughter is on the team, introduces himself and notes that the Steelers team was organized by coach Don Pearson and is made up of girls from the Crete/Sauk Village areas of Illinois. They are a homegrown team. They don’t recruit, the team has to raise money for regional trips. He notes that the team is in the regional tournament, one step away from the national tournament. He says they finished third in the Chicago-metro tournament (500 – 1,000 teams qualify). There are 18 teams in the tournament, 4 will go to the nationals. The girls practice 2 to 3 times a week in winter and raise money for worthy causes like Multiple Sclerosis.
10:34Copy video clip URL Pedersen says the season starts in May. They play constantly in June and July. Their record right now is 55-18. If they go to Nationals they will have an 80-game season, from Memorial Day to mid-August.
12:28Copy video clip URL Pedersen says the play is intense. The players are 14 and under. Women sports are becoming more popular especially in college. This league is a stepping stone for girls who might be able to use athletics to get an education. Their dedication to continue practicing throughout winter keeps the girls out of trouble and keeps them academically sharp. Players must maintain an honor roll status in school. He says if you work hard in practice you will play hard.
13:58Copy video clip URL Pedersen thinks the team name, Steelers, comes from the fact that many of the players’ parents work at Acme Steel Company. The videographer asks for the line up, but Pedersen starts to offer it, but suggests asking the manager.
14:15Copy video clip URL Pedersen says his job is to help the coach, Pearson. He notes that the team is the cream of the crop. Next year, Pedersen hopes to be more involved with the team. He notes that the team plays to the level of the competition. He says they lack the killer instincts when playing a lesser team.
16:14Copy video clip URL Pedersen notes how intense the girls play. The biggest difference he notices between boys and girls sports can be the concentration level. But he notes the girl players cheer more for one another.
17:08Copy video clip URL B-roll of batting practice. Pedermen is helping coach them. He notes about one batter that her fielding’s great, her hitting needs work. He says girls fastpitch is primarily a singles and doubles game. Very few home runs. He notes his sport is hockey and that he’s a die-hard Hawks fan. He shows off a Hawks tattoo.
19:48Copy video clip URL B-roll of the Steelers pitcher, Courtney Witvliet warming up. The coach is nearby advising and coaching.
23:29Copy video clip URL Witvliet says she throws a fastball, change up, drop, rise and curve. She notes on a drop you shorten your stride and rip back on the seams. On a rise you lengthen your stride and twist up. She notes she’s lost 8 pounds this season. She doesn’t do much aside from softball. It’s fun. She thinks the team will win tonight.
24:51Copy video clip URL Coach Pearson thinks the team will do well in tonight’s game and agrees that the team has a habit of playing only to the level of the competition. He says he loves the game and gets joy out of seeing the kids develop skills and seeing how the game helps a player get an education in college. He notes a difference he’s seen in male versus female players is that when a girl gets good at the game she wants to learn more. When a boy gets good, he becomes cocky and thinks he knows it all. He says he coaches high school softball as well. As far as misconceptions of girls sports, he notes that the adage “girls can’t throw” is not true. He says we teach them to throw like athletes. He says these girls practice very hard all winter and summer.
28:26Copy video clip URL The coach runs through the line up: Tiffany Lindsay, second base; Autumn McGathy, third; Selena Carey, shortstop; Leah Santori, right field, Robyn Pearson, catcher; Courtney Witvliet, pitching; Beth Carpenter, first base; Jennifer Pedersen, left field; Alison Foss, center field. Coach predicts it will be a good and close game, but his team will prevail.
29:24Copy video clip URL B-roll of the team leaving the practice field. B-roll of the pitcher warming up and players fielding fly balls.
34:22Copy video clip URL Coach Pearson gives a pre-game pep talk. It’s just another game. If you lose you don’t go to jail. If you win you don’t get a million dollars. Play like you know how. There’s nothing we can tell you now to make you play better. Be aggressive on the bases, at bat, going to get the ball. Infielders charge the ball. If we win we win, if we lose we lose. It won’t be the first time we’ve won and it won’t be the first time we’ve lost. Outfielders get in front of the ball. Remember one thing: you’re the Steelers and you’re going to Rockford.
36:17Copy video clip URL The players arrange themselves in a circle and perform a ritual pep rally. Fans clap and cheer.
37:00Copy video clip URL B-roll of the game, the opening pitch. Various plays.
38:06Copy video clip URL B-roll players in dugout watch and react. B-roll of various plays.
39:52Copy video clip URL Steelers at bat, various pitches.
41:00Copy video clip URL B-roll of opposing team taking the field. A rally, the Steelers score two runs. Various b-roll of batters and players cheering for teammates. The opposing team makes defensive plays. Parents cheer.
46:09Copy video clip URL Wide shot b-roll of field at sunset and the game in progress.
47:24Copy video clip URL B-roll of a sign displaying all the team’s sponsors including Acme Steel Co., Village Bowl, Nickys Gyros, Chicago Suburban Express, Reichelt Plumbing.
49:30Copy video clip URL B-roll of activity in opponent’s dugout. Steelers warm up for a new inning. B-roll of various plays with opponents at bat.
50:54Copy video clip URL B-roll of fans reacting to the game.
51:00Copy video clip URL B-roll of various plays. Opponent hits home run.
52:17Copy video clip URL B-roll Coach Pearson observing from the bench during an inning change. B-roll of geese flying by. B-roll of various plays, Pearson in conference with his pitcher. B-roll of fans reacting.
53:42Copy video clip URL B-roll of team conference in dugout (cannot hear what’s being said). B-roll of Steelers at bat, runners on base, and the team in the dugout looking on and cheering.
57:29Copy video clip URL B-roll of various plays, Steelers on the defense. The pitcher gets emotional and cries.
01:01:20Copy video clip URL END