Softball coaches require facemasks; Baseball searching for accep - WBAY

Softball coaches require facemasks; Baseball searching for acceptable protective gear


The Green Bay Bullfrogs Baseball Club is at the halfway point in its season. Bullfrogs pitchers say they aren't required to wear protective gear, but they've had some close calls on pitches hit right back at them.

"I've got hit a couple times like in the leg, or in the arm, or something, but nothing like towards the head. So I mean it's definitely possible," said Green Bay Bullfrogs Pitcher Corey Fischer.

Green Bay area softball coaches say they must protect their players because they can come dangerously close to hitters.

"At the youth level in De Pere, our De Pere Girl's Softball Association, we require our pitchers to wear facemasks. We strongly recommend our infielders wear facemasks," said Kerry Counard, softball coach at De Pere High School.

This decision came two years ago after a ten year-old was hit by a line drive.  

"She had swelling on the brain at that point we called an immediate board meeting and said you know what we are going to go out and buy facemasks and make them mandatory for our players just for safety," said Kerry Counard.

High schools aren't requiring these facemasks yet, but as players transition to higher levels of play many are bringing this new piece of equipment with them.

"I feel like more people are adjusting to it now and realizing it is really important to wear it," said Julia Counard, sophomore softball player at De Pere High School.

As baseball looks for ways to protect their players, De Pere softball coaches say they've already made their game safer for future athletes.

"I think as it becomes more of the norm, another piece of equipment just like your glove, or your hat, or visor, or what ever else you wear. It is just going to become second nature I believe," said Kerry Counard.


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