INDIANOLA, Iowa — The first female Gold Glove winner, AJ Andrews, will come speak Friday night in Hubbell Hall at the first-ever Winter Diamond Dinner for Simpson College softball.
Head softball coach Brent Matthias said Andrews speaks about women’s goals, equality and being comfortable with the body you have been given.
Past Gold Glove awards have been given to men such as Derek Jeter, Ken Griffey Jr. and Torii Hunter, and were given exclusively to men since 1957.
In August 2016, Andrews ended that trend and was the first-ever woman to win the Gold Glove award.
Andrews is known for her acrobatic catches. Being fearless on the field is what allows her to make such great plays.
“We thought it would be good to bring someone who is dynamic and impactful to speak to our team,” Matthias said.
Andrews has also been featured in the body issue of ESPN magazine.
Playing college softball herself, and being an All-American at Louisiana State University, Andrews knows how college softball works.
In past years, the Storm’s softball teams weren’t recognized for various reasons.
One reason the team didn’t have the banquet is due to the fact each player is spread out after the season, which lead to the team having it before the season.
Matthias thinks this is a great way to recognize his players, and a way to kick off the year.
“I think it’s a great way for the team to close out the 2017 season, and get the 2018 team motivated and ready for the upcoming season,” junior catcher Ashley Allen said.
The event will begin with senior biographies, followed by the team passing out last years’ letters for the letter winners. Right before the program, the MC of the night, Tim Guessford, will announce the team MVP.
“We are trying to have something as a team that we can always have in the winter to recognize our team,” Matthias said.
After talking with some of the other coaches, Matthias thought this was a great chance to bring his team together and excite them about the upcoming season.
The event is $20 per person and is open to the public.
Proceeds will go toward paying for the program and dinner. The team will look to buy a new pitching machine with the money left over.
“We’re really excited. It’s a great way to have our players recognized,” Matthias said. “And at the same time, have a dynamic speaker come in and talk about goal setting and breaking barriers.”
Simpson’s softball team will start official practices Jan. 22 as they look to improve on an abysmal 8-28 record from last year.