A Business of the Heart
Anyone who thought that women’s softball in Hunterdon County had fallen on hard times since they last heard about it had better think again. Lisa Iancin, the new Director of Softball Operations at the Jack Cust Baseball Academy (JCBA), wants everyone to know that the cause of women’s softball remains alive and well, thank you.
As a former player of the New York-New Jersey Juggernaut and veteran of league play on both coasts, Ms. Iancin speaks from first-hand experience. Her latest venture with the Juggernaut produced a team championship in 2004 in the National Professional Fast Pitch league (NPF). Just another feather in the cap for a player who distinguished herself as a NPFL All-Star in 2003 and as a key member of the Orange County (California) Batbusters, winners of four league championships in six years during her days on the sunny west coast.
Lisa came to New Jersey specifically to play competitive softball for the Juggernaut and to promote the growth of women’s professional softball on the east coast. She admits that here the sport “lags far behind the west coast” when it comes to popularity and acceptance; however, she believes in her ability to advance the sport, especially within the supportive environment that the Jack Cust Baseball Academy provides.
She ranks the Juggernaut’s NPF championship last year as a significant step in the right direction, mainly because the team emerged victorious after having finished third during the regular season. Most of us would regard a third-place finish in any league as something to celebrate. It’s a measure of Ms. Iancin’s competitive spirit and winning attitude, though, that nothing short of being the best will suit her. It is, after all, the goal she has set for women’s softball generally in the east, as well as the mission she has established for softball operations at the Academy in particular.
Lisa Iancin takes a swing as
a former player on the New
York-New Jersey Juggernaut
Despite the Juggernaut’s success, the team’s financial future appeared uncertain at the end of the NPF’s 2004 season. Within two months following their championship, Juggernaut players suddenly found themselves as free agents. It was not long before other teams recruited them, and Lisa eventually accepted a roster spot on the New England Riptide for 2005. Ironically, the Riptide is the team that the Juggernaut beat to win the NPF title. She will play in New England alongside Kelly Wilkerson, another ex-Juggernaut player.
Lisa believes that playing for the Riptide will not conflict with her responsibilities at JCBA. She’ll be on the road playing from May through August, but her commitment to the business of building women’s softball will reside here in Hunterdon County.
She organized and supervised the women’s softball league at the Academy this past winter, and she orchestrated the start of a new hitting school and a defensive school, each of which began in March. Both schools operate at the Academy, and both cater to the individual player as well as to teams. Lisa describes the schools as softball “instruction for the serious player.” She invites any and all women who are serious about playing softball to contact her at 908-284-1778 or
at her business e-mail address. Of course, interested readers may also direct their inquiries to the Academy web site www.jackcustbaseball.com.
During her absence, Tom Gambino, Executive Director, will manage the women’s softball registration and training. We fully expect to see Lisa again in September with an armload of team and individual trophies owing to her exploits up north. In the meantime, though, HCB wishes her only the best of luck and a speedy return.