Friday, May 20, 2011

Play 1-pitch, help send softball player to Europe

Alex Lindbloom organizes June 4-5 tourney

     Hailey’s Alex Lindbloom has made a name for herself in college softball. Now she wants to travel to Europe this summer with a USA Athletes International softball team and is asking for the community’s help.

     Lindbloom is organizing a 1-Pitch Coed Softball tournament scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5 at Hailey’s LionsPark. She is accepting up to 12 teams, for an entry fee of $175 per team. Each tourney team is guaranteed two games. Sign-up deadline is June 1.

     By doing so, the former WoodRiverHigh School star softball player hopes to raise money to cover some of the estimated $4,000 cost to be part of a 10-member U.S. team playing a 10-game schedule in Holland and France from July 14-23.

     “I’ve never been overseas, but to go to Europe and play the sport I love is going to be amazing,” she said.

     Lindbloom recently completed her freshman season as catcher/shortstop for the Finlandia University Lions softball team based in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Lake Superior. She enjoyed success and so did the Lions squad.

     Fourth-year coach Shawn Hendrickson turned around a program that was 7-29 in 2010 and guided the Lions to a school-record 25-11 mark in 2011 that included a 13-game winning streak. He was voted “Coach of the Year” in the Association of Division 3 Independent Schools.

     Lindbloom was one of the few freshmen honored on the post-season All-Independent Division 3 All-Star teams. She made second-team shortstop. Lindbloom started and played 35 games. She finished with a .320 batting average (31 hits, 25 RBI, .392 slugging percentage, .455 on-base average). She led the Lions in bases on balls (23) and stolen bases (9).

     It was quite a school year for Lindbloom, who spent last fall at the two-year HesstonCollege in Kansas. She transferred to Finlandia, where she played guard on the basketball team during the winter and then started for the softball team this spring.

     She said, “I learned to manage my time at college, since for about a month I was playing both sports and had to go to two practices a day.”

     Coach Hendrickson brought the USA Athletes International program to Lindbloom’s attention, and she was chosen for the Europe team in March.

     The 2010 WoodRiverHigh School graduate is a daughter of Jeannie and Todd Tupper of Hailey. Alex is majoring in criminal justice at Finlandia with a minor in psychology.

     She recently watched and rooted for her former teammates from WoodRiver playing in their district softball tourney in Twin Falls.

     To sign-up for the June 4-5 tournament at LionsPark, call Lindbloom at 721-2280.

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