NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -The NPF is on display in the Mankato area this summer as the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota showcase their talents at Caswell Park.
The squad’s not only brought world class softball to southern Minnesota, but is setting a positive example to youth players everywhere.
Sport Director Rob Clark brings us that story.
While the pros provide plenty of entertainment with home runs and spectacular catches, youth softball players are taking notice with a chance to see their idols up close at Caswell Park, a field that puts fans right on top of the action.
“I think that this atmosphere is second to none, have them right there, loud and right in your faces. I think going into having a team here, you didn’t quite know how it was going to go. I know we had great softball fans, but we’ve had support outside of softball fans, and that’s a really cool piece of it,” said Coley Ries, Aussie Peppers of Minnesota pitcher.
“I sat behind the fence last night and actually got to sit with some little Peppers, and that was really cool to sit and just talk softball with the younger generation. To be able to have them so close to you, you feel them right there with you. It’s a family atmosphere. I love playing in parks like this, it reminds you why you play softball,” said Kaia Parnaby, Aussie Peppers of Minnesota pitcher.
“That’s the great part about the NPF, they want us to be very accessible and be able to be those role models. A lot of professional athletes, you can’t get to them. You can’t have those person to person conversations. To be able to have some of the girls be able to be bullpen catchers is a great experience for their growth and to see different moving pitches they haven’t seen before,” said Ries.
In an area with multiple collegiate softball programs, the Peppers offer a look at what it takes to be a pro.
“It’s really cool. This is a great opportunity for the younger girls. That’s the biggest thing is seeing softball being played is a great way to learn. Now that they can watch past college allows their dreams to be bigger and bigger,” said Ries.
Providing smiles to athletes hoping to follow in their footsteps.