BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When it comes to fast pitch softball at St. Patrick.... winning is the name of the game. The 2014 Lady Irish have rung up 25 wins, 3 losses.
Head coach Tommy Castanedo has built St. Patrick into a softball powerhouse, not only in the Class 3A ranks, but throughout the entire state... ranked 7th by MaxPreps. In this his fourth season, he's guided the Lady Irish to 105 victories, 18 defeats and two ties.
Castenado said, "Being a small school, a 3A school we play a lot of young kids. It seems like we don't have that advantage of having six or seven seniors playing on the team, but our kids know how to compete and they're just tough, gritty kids."
Castenado graduated from Harrison Central High School and received a baseball scholarship with the UNO Privateers and played his final season of college baseball in 1990 at Southern Miss. He was a pitcher.
Castenado says a number of coaches have had a major influence on his career.
"Mark Ross of Long Beach, grew up playing with him and coach Favre, Irvin Favre during the summer and Glenn DeWease, stated Castenado. "Those three guys during my high school career and coach Tom Swanier over at UNO. Those guys really had a great influence."
Castanedo says his baseball background has given him an edge in coaching girls softball.
"Playing baseball growing up I always thought I was going to have little boys whenever I got married. Me and my wife Stephanie have two little girls. The game of softball is so much fun, so fast, 60 foot bases and so quick." He added,"There's never a dull moment in fast pitch softball. It's truly because a passion of ours. We love it."
Game two between St. Patrick and Choctaw Central is slated for 3:00 p.m. Saturday in Biloxi.