The most important concept of this magazine is to find the athletes that are up and coming to the sports scene. I am often looking for reports on who is making waves and through the association of a long time friend I found exactly what I often look for. Her name is Eva Treadway and she is beginning to raise some noise in the fast pitch softball youth league. If you were in this area back in the 90’s you would have been reading about Eva’s mother Erin.
Before I make my remarks about Eva, I would like to introduce you to both Erin and Eva’s pitching coach, Paul Copeland. Paul has been in the Texarkana area for many years and has worked with numerous athletes helping them develop the correct pitching style. I can remember playing against Paul in the 70’s and 80’s trying to hit off his wicked pitches. He had many different pitches and would strike you out quickly. He was in the same league as Homer Lee Thompson and Duayne White and Kevin Grady. Without trying to reach back in my old memory I will let Paul tell his story.
You could say that I was born into Fast Pitch softball. In the 60’s and 70’s my dad and uncles played league and tournament Fast Pitch softball. I was either at the baseball field playing little league baseball or at the fast pitch field with my dad. Back then as a kid we would play ball on the side while our dads would play fast pitch. I was always the pitcher for my team at the fast pitch field. Fast forward to 1990. I began playing league ball with a local fast pitch team in Texarkana, TX. I was consumed with the game. I pitched with my league team for four years and played in as many tournaments as I could. Back then it was a struggle to get eight other guys to play, much less travel 3 or 4 hours away to a tournament, but I managed. I eventually moved on and pitched nine years with the Delta Travelers, from Greenville, MS. and later with the Memphis Posse, retiring from playing in 2007. Over those years with the travelers, I pitched in several National Championship tournaments,
In 1994 “Title IX” came to be. This said if you offered baseball for boys in school, you had to offer softball for girls. At this time “Slow pitch” softball was huge and most female teams were apprehensive of transitioning to “Fast pitch” but it was inevitable. If the high school had it then the colleges that did not already have it would soon have it. This meant more athletic scholarships would be available in softball. So most high schools in the area went fast pitch. Once going to fast pitch they found out real quick that pitching was the key. If the team did not have a pitcher, which most did not, then it was going to be a long season. There were some girls that started pitching who had a natural windmill motion but only a few. One afternoon I was approached by a teammate and asked if I would be interested in working with one of his customer’s daughters who was beginning to pitch for a local high school team. Reluctantly I agreed. After that I began working with more and more, young softball pitchers. I was the first fast pitch instructor in Texarkana and have been doing it ever since. In 1995 I started coaching a High school age fast pitch softball summer league and travel team. My main pitcher was a sophomore named Erin Moore. Erin was a hard worker, natural athlete and very coach able. She helped her team qualify for the first ever USSSA Girls World Fast pitch tournament. She was the starting pitcher for Texas High School most of her high school career and then on to some college softball. Nearly Twenty years later l get a call from her, now Erin Treadway, wanting me to start working with her six year old daughter, Eva. Normally I would turn down a pitcher that age but what could I do. Now close to a year later I am very glad that I started working with her. Just like her mother, a natural athlete, very coach able and absolutely going to be an outstanding pitcher if she stays with it. She works hard at practice and has natural ability that you do not see very often. Eva does not speak a lot, she lets her playing speak for her. I will have to say that she would be close to the top of the list of young pitching prospects in this area. I see nothing but great things from Eva in the years to come.
Eva started playing machine pitch softball when she was 5. She moved up to eight and under when she was 6 and is now playing ten and under at age 7. She also plays soccer and basketball.
Eva is tireless worker that pitches and hits almost everyday with her parents.
She goes to pitching lessons with Paul Copeland once a week and hitting lessons with Shane Halter once a week. She is literally head and shoulders above everyone her age and she wears a size 8.5 women’s shoe.
She started pitching almost a year ago and has developed a drop ball and a change up.
Over the summer and fall, so far she has pitched 48 innings and has 37 strikeouts. In her last ten and under tournament, playing for her team (Hustle) she had 13 K’s over 5.2 innings.
Eva has consistently led all of her teams in every offensive category.
As you would expect, the Treadways are completely sold out on the athletic development of their children. This has been handed down by both sides of the relationship. Erin’s parents were very supportive and were willing to spend the time and money to enhance the abilities of their kids. Brent’s parents also offer that same support and continue to invest in their families development by showing up and supporting everything that happens in their kids and grandkids lives. I would call this a “Story Book” situation and by observing the commitment they have to make their children better, you also can learn a valuable lesson by observing what they do year in and year out.
You see lots of people will consider the success of many athletes to be somewhat luck. Luck to me is success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions. It is also where preparation meets opportunity. You can literally make yourself “Lucky”. There is another saying that comes to mind and that is “The harder I work the luckier I get.”