Women competing and having fun at the NAFA World Series

Written by Bob on August 15th, 2014
Shelby Nosan, left, Debby Day, and Jessica Williams are competing in men's fastpitch and have performed very well at the NAFA World Series. Photo Collage By BOB OTTO

Shelby Nosan, left, Debby Day, and Jessica Williams are competing in men’s fastpitch and have performed very well at the NAFA World Series. Photo Collage By BOB OTTO

QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – If Debby Day were at the NAFA World Series, Shelby Nosan and Jessica Williams would probably give her a big thank you for opening the door, for breaking down the barrier.

Day, who pitches for the Long Beach Wolfpack, is one of the first females to play in the NAFA World Series, along with Meredith Servanka, who pitches for Rude Pac of So. Calif.

Both women have competed very well against the men. And last year Day led the Wolfpack to the A-Division championship and was selected Co-Most Valuable Pitcher.

Day’s emergence in the men’s game – and her resounding success last season – has made it more acceptable for other women to play in the NAFA World Series.

The two latest are Nosan, 21, and Williams, 20. They both play for the Fort Frances Young Wolves from Canada. Nosan plays shortstop and Williams anchors third.

When told of Day’s exploits in the men’s game, Williams said:

“That’s awesome. I definitely think the girls can play with the guys. We have the same level of competitiveness. I think it’s great.”

Let’s meet and learn more about these two young women who are having a great time playing in the NAFA World Series A-Division tournament.

What’s it like playing on the men’s side versus the women’s?

Nosan: “The big difference is hitting off really good pitchers who are a lot faster than the women. You have to get ready quicker and get your bat out there sooner.”

Williams: “You have to have quicker reaction time when you’re hitting and in the field. At third base the ball is coming at you pretty quick. But that’s what I love about it; you have to be ready all the time.

How long have you been playing against the men, and how did you get started with the Young Wolves?

Nosan: “My dad (Doug Nosan) played for a Baudette team in the Rainy River District Fastball League (Canada) with Team Stratton. They let me start playing for them four years a go, and I’m very grateful for that. (From there she began playing with the Young Wolves.)

Williams: “I just started this year. Shelby got me into it and I’ve played in two tournaments in Canada and this is my third tournament here with them.”

You both play for Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. How does playing in the men’s game help you in your college game?

Nosan: “It’s helped my college game, especially on defense. I’m able to get to balls in college that I wouldn’t have been able to if I didn’t play in the men’s league.”

Williams: “It will help my batting because the ball comes in so much faster and with so much more force and movement from the men pitchers. I think it’s really going to help my game with that, and also my reaction time at third base because you have to be ready to get to the ball much quicker.”

How have the men accepted you into their side of the sport?

Nosan: “The guys have been so welcoming. They look out for my safety too. They are all really great.”

Williams: “the atmosphere on this team is really great. I love it.”

Would you like to see a Co-ed division of fastpitch offered?

Williams: “I think it’s definitely possible, and I think there should be a Co-ed division. It’s fun playing with the guys.”

You have played both men’s and women’s fastpitch. Which do you prefer?

Nosan: “I love them both. With the guys it’s quite a different attitude. They’re pretty rowdy. The girls are fun too and you connect with them like a girl.”

You’re winding down you college softball careers. When you graduate, will that be the end of the sport for you?

Williams: “Heck no, I’m going to keep playing both men’s and women’s. It’s fun. I love it.”

This is your first NAFA World Series. What do you think about it?

Nosan: “I’ve always wanted to play in this ever since I heard about it. It’s kind of been my dream. I was a little nervous at first, but I think I got that out of me (in the first game). It’s a lot of fun.”

Both Shelby and Jessica play for Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. where Shelby, who returns as a senior next year, is an infielder and was selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region team, and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) All-Tournament team.

Williams, a sophomore, is utility player who is comfortable playing any position including pitcher, where she starred at Wayzata High School in Minnesota.

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