Edwardsville High School softball coach Lori Blad works with campers this week. (Photos by Madelaine Gerard)

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The threat of rain did not keep Edwardsville’s legendary Coach Lori Blade from holding the Lady Tigers Softball Camp in the high school’s gymnasium on June 15.

“I do not even mind being inside when we are doing all of this basic fundamental work,” Blade said. “We are quite lucky we have the nets and the supplies we do to teach the girls with.”

Girls who attended the camp practiced fielding, throwing, hitting, bunting, base running, as well as defensive and offensive strategies.

The camp, which began bright and early at 7:45 a.m., began with teaching girls in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades the fundamentals of the sport. Their session lasted until 9:15 a.m.. Medals were given to three girls who showed great fielding and hitting skills, as well as an award for “super effort.” These tokens of a job well done went to Grace Blakemore, Allison Brase, and Reagan Webb for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade sessions.

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After the first group of girls completed their session, Blade, with the help of EHS girls’ softball players, began to teach the second session for 5th and 6th grade girls. This section lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Awards were given to Tatum VanRyswyk, Ella Middleton and Abby Fister for this session.

Fifth and 6th grade girls interested in pitching and catching were encouraged to attend a 45-minute session that fell between the full camp and the 7th, 8th and 9th grade session. The last group of girls was given the same opportunity after their session ended at 2:45 p.m.

The camp will continue this week until June 17, and t-shirts will be given out to those who participated. The girls will venture back on to the fields of the Edwardsville Sports Complex unless the wet and stormy weather continues through the week.

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