Praising Jay Miller, & Softball, Too

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In today’s Journal is a story I wrote about Mississippi State softball coach Jay Miller, who earlier this week was selected to be head coach of the U.S. national team for the next four years. Miller has a wealth of experience and success on his résumé, having worked with the national program since 1992. He helped select the first U.S. Olympic softball team, which won gold in 1996. But there will be no Olympics for Miller and the U.S. team to look forward to, thanks to the IOC’s curious decision in 2005 to vote the sport out of the 2012 Games.

If I can get up on a soapbox for a moment, that decision was a joke. Maybe I’m a bit biased, having grown up around the sport. My two sisters played, and my dad co-founded a United States Fastpitch Association youth league in Ruston, La., about 20 years ago. When I covered high schools for the Daily Journal, fast-pitch was easily my favorite girls sport to cover. (An aside: I was stunned when I moved here to learn that slow-pitch was actually a varsity-level sport. Seriously?) When played by folks who know what they’re doing, softball is a crisp, fast-moving game. Obviously, the only reason the IOC jilted it was “the whim of politics,” as Miller put it. In other words, nobody liked how dominant the U.S. was, which makes the fact that Japan beat the Americans in the Beijing gold medal game last summer quite ironic.

Anyway, Miller’s Lady Bulldogs are 6-2 heading into this weekend’s Bulldog Classic. Here’s a quick update on the team.

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4 Responses to “Praising Jay Miller, & Softball, Too”

  1. darkcooger Says:

    Good article, Brad. I remember going to watch softball games at State with my grandfather. Those were always at least as much fun as baseball games, plus back then, it was free (is it still?). I’ve always felt like softball took a back seat to baseball and I’ve never understood why.

    Anyway, congrats to Coach Miller! Bring us that #1!

  2. imabulldog Says:

    Pretty cool that it was our coach that was chosen for the Nat’l team. That’s a big deal.

    I too have respect for fast-pitch, I guess we could call it a real ‘women’s’ sport 🙂

    There are some good players out there.

    I always find myself pulling for the prettier team 🙂 Like UCLA, and UCLA…:)

    My knows-its ok!

  3. imabulldog Says:

    -just for the record, I’d pull for our girls over anybody

  4. darkcooger Says:

    Wasn’t Ron Polk coach of the national baseball team? I’m pretty sure he was at least an assistant on a couple of Olympic teams as well.

    Good days for MSU that we’re lending our coaches to the national teams again!

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