BOONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Sean Thomasson has at all times been a proud lady dad.
A decade in the past, when his daughters Halee and Ariel have been beginning sports activities, he had difficulties discovering a spot for them to apply softball, notably within the winter and rainier months. The women needed to be taught the sport, nevertheless, and it was an exercise for them to bond with their dad.
Thomasson took issues into his personal arms as somebody with land in rural Southern Indiana who needed to see his daughters chase their desires. He constructed a 25-by-50-foot pole barn with 12-foot ceilings. Its ground has the identical dust you’ll discover on any out of doors diamond.
Voilà, an indoor softball facility for use year-round. A spot the place the women might higher themselves.
You would match 10 of them inside for run drills again then. That’s out of the query now that they’re girls, however the pitching machines and nets are nonetheless in place. It’s nonetheless being put to good use.
The household has spent lots of, if not hundreds, of hours training softball at their facility. And Thomasson coached youthful daughter Ariel up till two years in the past.
The weekend earlier than Father’s Day in June was the fruits of all that arduous work.
“It’s type of like a cloud 9 and will get you floating just a little bit,” Thomasson mentioned.
Ariel, a senior pitcher, led Boonville Excessive Faculty to the IHSAA Class 3A state softball championship with a 1-0 victory over Guerin Catholic. It was Boonville’s first title since 2006 – and it occurred on a walk-off squeeze bunt within the backside of the seventh.
She had 9 strikeouts in her gutsiest efficiency of the season because the Pioneers’ “workhorse,” her head coach mentioned. Ariel had 188 strikeouts this season. Her ERA was roughly 1.50. She fueled them all through their postseason run from contained in the circle.
Successful state is her proudest second. It’s one in all Thomasson’s proudest as a father, too.
“He’s at all times had confidence in me and my sister all through all of our sports activities,” Ariel mentioned. “It doesn’t matter what we did, he was at all times there and at all times supporting.”’
Thomasson added: “That’s essentially the most emotion and pleasure I’ve ever seen her present in softball, and she or he’s had a fairly good profession. It makes me very proud to see what she’s achieved.”
They’ve spent a lot time with softball over the previous 10 years. Thomasson obtained them began, after which Ariel started pitching as a result of that’s what her older sister did. Ultimately, she turned extra passionate in regards to the sport than Halee, and she or he’s going to proceed taking part in collegiately at Rose-Hulman.
Thomasson coached them each whereas their mom, Sherri, mentioned she took on the “softball mother” function of carrying the luggage and bringing snacks.
“He was a very good coach, however as you may know, generally fathers and daughters don’t get alongside as effectively if you’re teaching,” Sherri Thomasson joked. “He’s coached her since she was just a little lady alongside, with my brother-in-law, from T-ball all over 16U. The 2 of them working collectively labored very effectively.”
Sean Thomasson and Ariel every admitted to butting heads generally. It’s pure.
“I at all times know what he’s making an attempt to inform me is essential. Whether or not he thinks it or not, I do take it to coronary heart,” Ariel mentioned.
Her father added: “Ariel is a really decided younger girl, and as soon as she units her thoughts on doing one thing, she desires to perform it.”
Properly, it led to a state championship, proper?
Thomasson did his greatest to battle tears as they hugged postgame. Ariel was already crying. They’d shared a journey softball world collection title in Tampa a handful of years in the past, however this was particular. The Pioneers introduced their group collectively.
He saved repeating, “I’m so happy with you.”
It was her who instilled the work ethic Ariel reveals each time she enters the circle. She doesn’t get rattled or pissed off. He taught her to easily pitch up the items and go to the subsequent pitch each time she permits a success.
The morning after Boonville gained – technically the identical morning – the Thomassons awoke and headed to Newburgh to look at the Boonville feeder softball staff play in a event.
Ariel was nonetheless sporting her championship shirt and medal. And as she approached the dugout to huddle with the women, she might see the gleam in every of their eyes. They appear as much as Ariel and her teammates.
Ultimately, all of their careers are going to finish – some ahead of others – however they’re all function fashions for the subsequent era.
“When you don’t have folks to look as much as, you’re not going to have an interest,” Ariel mentioned. “It actually means loads to me that these women look as much as me.”
And it’s all as a result of she seems as much as her dad. And since he taught her a sport 10 years in the past that’s had a profound affect on her.